Salmon Fish Farming
Salmon farming is an enterprise with global commercial significance. Are you interested in joining the industry by starting your own salmon farm? You can prepare by learning the basics of salmon farming and discovering industry issues you need to know before starting this enterprise. Our guide can walk you through these.
Salmon is valued as food and is particularly popular among health conscious people because of its high fish protein content and high Omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon are found in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and are so named according to their origins. Out of the two, it is the Atlantic salmon that is popularly farmed. Atlantic salmon is the salmon of choice for aquaculture because of its adaptability to a variety of conditions and high marketability. Salmon farming fills most of the demand for salmon in the worldwide market. In the U.S., Alaska, where salmon is abundant, leads the effort to improve the technology of salmon farming.
Two of the notable characteristics of salmon are its being anadromous and carnivorous. Salmon eggs are hatched in fresh water, but the adults migrate to the ocean where they stay until they reproduce, at which time they return to fresh water. Farmed salmon depend largely on fishmeal for food.
Salmon Farming Techniques
Commercial salmon farming uses open net cages or pens to raise the fish in ocean coasts. Another method commonly used in efforts to restore salmon stock in areas where they are in decline involves a two-stage hatchery process. In the first, eggs are hatched in freshwater tanks inland. In the second stage, the young salmon are brought to the ocean in net pens where they grow into commercial size. The process takes years. Still, another way is to use an artificial stream. In this method, a “stream” is created near an existing stream. Water from the natural stream is channelled to the man-made stream where salmon are made to spawn. Spawning success is seen as higher in this way because the process is isolated from predators and destructive forces like flood.
Salmon Farming Issues
Salmon’s eating preference puts salmon farming under heavy criticism. Salmon depends on fishmeal for its protein requirement. To produce fishmeal other fish like sardines, herring, whiting and anchovies must be caught and processed to become salmon feeds. Reportedly, to achieve its weight, a salmon has to consume as much as four times the weight of other fish. Critics argue that these fish are better used as food for human consumption.
The open net-production of salmon is also being criticized for its lack of control on the fish raised. As a result, some farmed salmon escapes and spread diseases to wild salmon stocks and dilute wild stock breed. In addition, this production method is also being attacked because of the wastes it discharges to coastal waters.
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