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Salmon: Farmed vs. Wild? Not Anymore!

August 18th, 2009

(Syndicated News) In recent years, much of the news coverage involving the salmon industry has centered on the health impacts of wild versus farmed salmon — most notably differing levels of chemicals (both good and bad) found in the two types. To a lesser extent, media coverage has also surrounded the economical impact that the farming of salmon has had on the industry as a whole. While the battle over health impacts continues to rage on, however, a recent report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) seems to have cleared up any negativity towards the economic impact of salmon farming.

“The report is important in that it reveals the popularity of farmed salmon is not a significant detrimental factor to the economic status of wild salmon harvesters,” states Laura McNaughton of Salmon of the Americas ( “Farmed salmon and wild salmon both have their niche, and the report reveals what many industry insiders have known for years — that the salmon industry would be doing itself a huge disservice by eliminating farmed salmon.”

In addition to eliminating speculation that the farming of salmon was generally hurting commercial fisheries in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the report even went so far as to add that salmon farming has advanced the industry in ways that traditional, wild-caught methods could have never achieved on their own.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Gunnar Knapp, feels the report does more than clear up any misconceptions about the economic status of the salmon industry — it introduces a new element of relevance to the debate.

“A fundamental point … is that the debate should not be about wild versus farmed, but whether each method of production is being done right,” says Knapp.

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