Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
Health conscious consumers know that eating salmon has many benefits. Salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and the all-important omega-3 fatty acids. An ongoing dilemma for consumers, however, is whether wild or farm-raised salmon is a better choice. Though there are still pros and cons, the future of salmon lies with farming the fish, and here’s why.
The world’s population continues to grow, and so does the consumption of fish. Relying solely on fish caught wild in the oceans of the world is simply not going to work forever. Already, numerous areas have been overfished to the point of collapse of their population of marketable fish. The area off Newfoundland, which used to be teeming with cod, was overfished to the point that the cod population, and the fishing industry, collapsed.
Atlantic salmon has also been over-fished to the point where all Atlantic salmon is now farm raised. In fact, experts say that commercial fishing has reached the point where one third of the earth’s wild salmon face the risk of extinction.
We need a different solution than catching wild fish, and that’s where salmon farming can provide the answer. The production of farm raised fish is already on the rise, and cultivated fish is poised to overtake wild-caught fish in total consumption soon.
The aquaculture industry (as fish farming is referred to), is still a relatively young industry, but it is growing and maturing quickly. Two years ago, the global production of aquaculture raised fish surpassed the global production of beef. People have raised other animals for food for centuries, and this is the way of the future for salmon, as well.
New methods of salmon farming
There have been concerns about environmental impacts from salmon farming, some of which are valid. However, much of this is due to the relative youth of the industry. Producers continue to learn from experience, and a number of salmon farmers are moving towards new, more environmentally conscious methods of production.
Last year, a group of fifteen salmon-farming companies from around the globe banded together and announced the creation of the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI). These companies realize that they share the same challenges, and they want to do better in the world. The organization’s goals are to bring broad reforms throughout the aquaculture industry, worldwide.
If they are successful, then these efforts could mitigate existing issues with salmon farming. This would mean consumers will have a healthy, cost-effective solution for purchasing salmon, while knowing they’re doing well for the environment at the same time. It would also take the pressure off the wild fisheries, perhaps saving some species from extinction.
A relatively new certification is now available from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), which shows that an organization carries out sustainable fish farming methods. All of the GSI companies have committed that 100 percent of their production will be fully ASC-certified by the year 2020. This is highly significant, because these companies produce 70 percent of the world’s farm raised salmon. This is indeed the way of the future.
Salmon for nearly 9 billion people
Whether we like it or not, the population is constantly growing and there’s no way of stopping it. Back in 1950, Earth had about 2.5 billion people, a number that skyrocketed to 7 billion in 2012. By mid-century the numbers will go beyond 9 billion. As the number of people rises, so does the imminent need for food. Salmon is extremely widespread, and unlike some other types, it’s extremely healthy and packed with protein.
Wild salmon has always been a viable source of healthy fish; however the amount is not increasing. Simply put, it can’t satisfy demand anymore, so the only viable alternative left is farmed-raised salmon. For years, aquaculture has had a minor role in the international fish production, but that’s all about to change. Nowadays, aquaculture is a major contributor and increasingly more people are starting to learn about cultivated fish.
Loch Duart for example, is a major name in the industry. They’ve been cultivating salmon since 1999, and they’ve been dedicated to providing high-quality, delicious fish to the people. Their mission is to use sustainable measures to harvest and rear the fish, thus make sure the final product is 100% safe to consume.
(Photo Courtesy: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Mike, Alpha)