The cost of farmed Atlantic salmon
How has it become so popular and what does that mean for the environment?
Once considered a luxury, we now consume 17 billion meals of the fish each year. Vivienne Nunis explores how it has become so popular and what impact salmon farming is having on the environment. Today you can even get salmon from a vending machine. The BBC’s Jonathan Josephs tries to buy some fish for his dinner in Singapore. However, concern is mounting over welfare standards on commercial salmon farms off the coast of Scotland. Dr Bryce Stewart is a marine ecologist and fisheries biologist who says there are considerable issues with sea lice, which damage salmon, especially if the chemicals used to treat the fish leak out into open water. Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, takes us through the story of how salmon farming grew so much that it started to compete with commercial meat production. The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation says that their welfare standards are some of the highest in the world, though there are areas for improvement. CEO Julie Hesketh-Laird says medicine usage levels have fallen, though farmers still need access to tools to prevent disease.
(Picture: A salmon vending machine in Singapore. Credit: BBC)