Precautionary Tales

  • Salmon farming

Those with concern for appropriately scaled and ecologically suitable human/marine interaction should examine the farm-raised salmon aquaculture industry with a healthy dose of forethought and caution. We witness issues including marine pollution by way of additives such as feed and medicine, pest and disease (sea lice) spread competition with wild runs, as well as reduced resilience of wild fish due to genetic manipulation by way of interbreeding. Salmon farms have come to represent monocultures of the sea, which result in the same ecological and social simplification as agrarian monocultures. Further, farmed salmon bodies often contain large quantities of toxins that are inherited through feed (fatty fish from polluted waters) and biomagnified as they make their way up the food chain into large fatty fish tissue.

Conventional aquaculture is already massive industry with sprawling global supply chains responsible for massive mining of wild fisheries, as well as GMO inputs such as corn, wheat gluten... creating plumes of pollution and using questionable chemicals to treat unhealthy confined fish.

Others forms of mariculture have been a disaster, fish-farming, take place in the enclosed commons areas of the sea using wild-caught ingredients and yet it is having a significant effect on the ecosystem of the commons and on wild fish populations, salmon farms, in particular, are a huge contributor to the alteration of wild salmon genetics. Shrimp farms are a major destroyer of wild mangrove forests. In addition to this, bio-contamination has lead to diseases spreading between wild and farmed fish. Fish are fed GMO feeds and cause pollution via waste concentration and chemical sprays being used. The farmed industry is not only damaging wild fish stocks, but it is also undercutting the wild fishing sector. 

  • Artifishal Film: Patagonia
    • Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature.
  • Farmed Norwegian Salmon World’s most Toxic Food
    • Pollutants in farmed salmon mainly come from their food source: dry pellets made of small fatty fish (sand eels) not fit for human consumption (many of these fish are caught in the Baltic Sea--one of the most polluted in the world)
      • High levels of dioxins, PCBs, and more
    • Ethoxyquin is an ingredient added to fish meal. It was registered by Monsanto in 1959 in the category of pesticides. it was used to treat rubber as well as fruits and vegetables, and is currently highly regulated. It is being added to fish feed to prevent the fat of farmed fish from going rancid, and is unregulated.
    • Lack of research, except for one study that it can cross the blood-brain barrier.
      • extremely high levels were found in farmed fish- 10-20 times higher than the standard  500-100 micrograms/kilogram have been found in farmed fish.


  • Unruly Appetites: Salmon Domestication all the Way Down
    • Lien, Marianne Elisabeth. “UNRULY APPETITES: SALMON DOMESTICATION ‘ALL THE WAY DOWN.’” Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, edited by Anna Tsing et al., University of Minnesota Press, MINNEAPOLIS; LONDON, 2017.
  • Farmed Salmon are deaf and now we know why
    • Researchers now understand that deafness in farmed salmon is due to a deformity in the ear, caused by accelerated growth in aquaculture.
    • Congruent findings among fish in Norway, Chile, Scotland, Canada and Australia
    • The deformation was first recorded in the 1960s, but in 2016 this team was the first to show it affects more than 95 percent of fully-grown hatchery-produced fish globally
    • May explain why conservation efforts (releasing farmed fish into the wild) do not work--actual survival rate of farmed juveniles is between ten and 20 times lower than that of wild salmon. In the wild, fish may use their hearing for finding prey and avoiding predators, and for migrating species like salmon, hearing could help them navigate back to their home stream to breed.
  • Dr. Mercola Interviews Paul Molyneaux on Aquaculture
  • Dr. Mercola Interviews Paul Molyneaux on Aquaculture and the Dangers of Farmed Fish: Natural health expert and founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews investigative journalist and fishing industry insider Paul Molyneaux on the dangers of farmed fish, as well as the health and environmental problems brought on by unsustainable fish farming practices.
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