The Fundamental Flaws of Salmon Farming


From heavy metals, diseases, and parasites to toxins and chemicals in our food, from dead zones on the seafloor to jellyfish and toxic algal blooms, from animal cruelty to noise pollution, from food poisoning to poisoned politics -- the farmed salmon industry presents a catastrophic threat to marine life, to our trust in food safety, and to its own viable future. It has been a law unto itself for decades, but rapidly changing global circumstances are revealing this to be an increasingly untenable stance.


Scroll down and click on the photos below for more information. 



Explore the information linked through the photos below for these and other insights about the side of salmon farming beyond the veneer of the handsome labels and glossy advertising. And you be the judge... 

7 Deadly Sins


DID YOU KNOW... Farmed salmon contains mercury, arsenic, and pesticides and many other toxic chemicals [1, 2].  

DID YOU KNOW... Salmon farming uses violent tactics and devices that would be considered animal cruelty in any other circumstance: deploying tens of thousands of underwater 'cracker bombs' each year to deter seals, which shatter bones, rupture ear drums, and herniate brain tissue [3]; shooting bean-bag projectiles, as commonly used by riot police [4, 5]; and trapping, confining, and relocating seals [4]. 

DID YOU KNOW... How much did you pay last year in Council Rates? The salmon farming companies in Tasmania pay no rates for their grow-out farms. 

DID YOU KNOW... How much did you pay for water last year? The salmon farming companies pay a pittance for water -- less than you or I -- despite using vastly more water...and polluting it as well. The Regulatory Impact Statement: Water Management Regulations 2019 stipulates that aquaculture companies must pay 247.5 fee units per year [6]. The Application Fees under the Water Management Regulations 2009 stipulates that for 2020-2021 a fee unit is $1.62 [7]. This comes to $400.95 per year --  for unmetered, unlimited water. Again, how much did you pay?

DID YOU KNOW... Heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats in farmed salmon have been plummeting in recent years, while the more inflammatory omega-6 fats have been rapidly increasing [8, 9]. 

DID YOU KNOW... Effluents from salmon hatcheries are stimulating a type of toxic algae that may be releasing a neurotoxin into people's drinking water that is correlated with Motor Neurone Disease [1].

DID YOU KNOW... Jellyfish are a visible indicator that something is out of balance in the ocean [10]. The salmon industry creates this massive problem and then suffers its consequences. In the fiscal year 2018-2019, Huon Aquaculture lost a whopping 64% of its profits because of jellyfish [11]. It is a vicious cycle that will only worsen with expansion.



[Click here to go to 'Did You Know?' References]


Daryl Hunt is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

[This page was inspired by Don Staniford's 2002 paper to the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries public hearing, Sea cage fish farming: an evaluation of environmental and public health aspects [12].]