Thousands of Atlantic salmon escape fish farm and threaten wild salmon population

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salmon-fish(NaturalHealth365) August 20, 2017 wasn’t just the day before a total eclipse of the sun; it is also the day on which thousands of fish farm raised salmon escaped into Pacific waters, home of a variety of native salmon species. Believe me, this is a bigger story than you’ll ever hear from mainstream media outlets.

A net pen on a fish farm containing hundreds of thousands of salmon on the coast of Cypress Island in the San Juan Islands failed, releasing the salmon into the wild. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that from 4,000 to 5,000 of the 10-pound fish escaped. The extent of this accident concerns native tribes as well as ecologists who study the impact of farm-raised stock on wild species.

Why it’s a problem when farm-raised salmon meet wild salmon

There are several good reasons to keep farm-raised and wild fish apart. Native tribes in the Pacific Northwest are concerned that the farm-raised fish will compete for food with the wild salmon. This can weaken the wild stock and may reduce their numbers if food becomes scarce.

The natives also fear that the escaped fish could pass disease on to the wild salmon, again reducing their numbers if there is a massive die-off.

Ecologists have concerns for another reason: farm-raised fish contain toxins that are not only unhealthy to the other predators in the ocean but also to the people who eat the fish. A study by Indiana State University found that farm-raised salmon contained much higher levels of toxins, including PCBs and dioxins. These toxins can be extremely dangerous to human health, especially people with weak immune systems such as children and the elderly.

The study also discovered that the farm-raised fish were being fed something called “salmon chow”. This food consists of ground up fish and oil, and was also shown to contain high levels of toxins. The study suggested that the toxins were making their way into the farm-raised fish through their food.

Stay healthy by choosing the right salmon

As you know, many people eat salmon for its health benefits. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which aid in the health of blood vessels and reduce the risk of heart disease. But, it’s important to note, families who frequently eat salmon can increase their risk of accumulating toxins in the body – especially if they eat farm-raised fish.

The truth is: farm-raised salmon from all over the world has been found to have a much higher level of toxins than the wild Pacific salmon. To make sure that you and your family stay healthy, only purchase salmon that is labeled as wild caught, not farm-raised. If you can’t tell by the label, ask a store manager where the fish came from.

You strive to give your family the healthiest diet by avoiding GMO products and selecting organic, pesticide-free items whenever possible. No doubt, a healthy lifestyle must include educating ourselves about the best fish to eat, so that we can avoid farm-raised salmon and minimize our exposure to toxins.

Sources for this article include:

CrossCut.com
SeattleTimes.com
NPR.org
ScienceDaily.com

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  • Joel Synder

    Boycott farm raised fish. Many communities where they are raised are up in arms trying to stop it. It competes with the fishing industry. All around it is a bad idea.

    • Martha Hyde

      I agree, but we have been over-fishing the sea now for more than 20 years, and its effects have become very significant. Some fish have disappeared (like Chilean sea bass and others). The once plentiful catfish (a freshwater fish) is now very restricted, so that our demand for fish to eat and fish to feed other animals has outstripped the ability of the earth to make them.

      Of course most of us would miss that fact when we go to the fish market, but studies have shown that most of the fish species sold on the market are mislabeled. Few fishmongers know their species’ differences and can be duped easily. Even the restaurant menus are usually wrong, either intentionally by the owner or by the people who sold the fish to them.

      Most countries (including the US) still dump untreated and unfiltered effluent from factories into the sea. So we do have to create fish farms, both salt and fresh water. There is nothing that can replace fish in our diet (nor should we even be contemplating a world without fish) and we have to reduce dependence on the wild-caught variety. There have been some stories in the news about responsible farming that has successfully created healthy, non-toxic fish, but they are rare.

      Note that farm-raised tuna has less mercury than wild-caught tuna, and the opposite condition is found in salmon.

  • Henry W

    What is amazing is I have been to restaurants that use this as a selling point. I been to well known steak houses that use grain fed beef as a description of their offerings. Also, I have seen farm raised fish on their menu. Do these places understand what this means? Grain fed means more fat for taste along with GMOs hormones and antibiotics. Farm raised fish is not cleaner, but diseased toxic fish.

    • Loretta

      The restaurants probably know but the ignorant consumers think they’re getting something good. Sad thing is in this day and age with internet there’s no reason for people to be so ignornat about foods, toxins, health.

    • betsyanne

      I’m pretty sure the restaurant owners understand what those terms mean, but I’m almost positive most customers do not. Nor do they care unless they are into healthy foods – and if they were into healthy foods, they likely wouldn’t be eating at a restaurant very often. This whole business of genetic foods is just plain scary for the future of our health. It was supposed to be a good thing and help to feed lots of people, yada yada. Nothing helpful usually comes from mass production, and certainly this is true when it comes to phake phood.

  • Peg Knight

    Local flavor is a meaningless statement. We now experience things from far away lands. The problem is with farm raised fish we are experiencing an experiment that is not know in any land. We have revolutionized what it means to eat from either the land or sea.

  • Melissa Nelson

    Beyond the differences between farm raised fish and wild caught is the very real need for omega 3s. Our modern diet makes this a must. Obviously, you can take a capsule or soft gels. Many times the oil is processed from farm raised fish. Also, there is no substitute for a whole food diet. I DON’T CONSIDERED FARM RAISED SALMON PART OF A WHOLE FOOD DIET. IT IS ANYTHING BUT NATURAL.

  • Jim Decker

    Farm raised fish is a lot of hype, it doesn’t live up to the expectations. The industry isn’t about to come clean. They know the terrible conditions at these so-called fish farms. The trade-off is a little omega 3 at the expense of a toxic overload.

  • Frank Clarkson

    As we get use to substituting farm raised fish for the real thing, the industry has an optimistic outlook. The market for farm raised fish has had its ups and downs, but it has persisted and overcome most hurdles. It is enjoying a growing popularity among consumers and restaurant owners. It really is being seen as no different then commercial beef. If the major draw for consumers was a healthier lifestyle then neither would the beef or farm raised fish be taking over the market.

  • Bernard Rawling

    A price must be paid for the way we fool with our food supply. Guess who will be paying for it us? Guess who will be profiting from it? The food and pharmaceutical industry. This is the reason we should be exploring all means to avoid using any of their altered foods. We can and must have a food supply that is natural and sustainable.

  • Loretta

    wonderful. Paying extra to eat healthier fish and now they add their poison fish into the wild. Bastards.

  • Jonathan Glass

    Best thing is to avoid salmon altogether! Eat algae! Has plenty of good fats, as well as chia…no need to destroy the oceans.

  • Joy

    Why is it called Atlantic salmon in the article’s title but it’s located in the Pacific Ocean, which by the way, is contaminated from Fukashima.

  • Alison

    why does it say they’re Atlantic salmon when they were being raised off the coast of Washington state?

  • x_ray_tech

    Would be very helpful to list best choices/brands to purchase and how to get them. I am hoping VtalChoice is a good safe one. I have ordered a couple times from them, their wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, and the taste is phenomenal. They are an online company in Alaska. I particularly love the Petite Filet. Even the canned Sockeye is so good and nothing like any store bought brand of canned.

  • Martha Hyde

    Obviously from the information reported here, you won’t be able to trust the “wild-caught” label on a can or fresh body of salmon. You also did not mention mercury in particular as one of the toxins found in farm-raised salmon, that will now make it into the food chain in the sea. Obviously we need new safeguards for farm-raised fish. Like the double hulls of oil tankers, maybe we need double nets with a space between where any escaped salmon will go. You can at least entice them back with food only delivered inside the main net. Maybe there is a way to replace the hole in the net that gets created with a on-way door, and a way to put a second wall of fabric (which would allow water but not much food to get through) on the outside of the second net the moment the escape is covered so that all fish would be particularly hungry for the food inside the main net.

  • Mark Luxton

    Were these farm raised fish GMO’s? If so, the damage may be far greater than you have stated. This is a good reason why GMO’s should be banned, and all genetic modification illegal, except by public vote in proven emergency situation.

  • Georgie Song

    My opinion is that it “divine order” for us humans to be poison since we go greedy we eating Creation to death.

  • David

    Since these farm raised salmon have never been in the wild before, I don’t think they will live very long. Come on people…get a grip ! These farm raised fish have been eating pellets and have no idea how to deal with predators or find their own food. The lack of consideration and evaluation in today’s world is astounding, can a lion be let out of a zoo and live in the wild ? Just like you people, if the system of buying goods at grocery stores stopped how would most of you survive??