He has years of salmon farming experience around the globe, including in Scotland. Panorama: Salmon Farming Exposed is on BBC1 at 20:30 on Monday 20 May and on the BBC iplayer. He says: "Open-cage salmon farming is a hyper-intensive method of producing food. "The status quo is certainly not something that we're happy with so things have to change. Salmon farms were being accused of polluting the oceans. 4. For millennia, it has made an extraordinary journey. Whether wild-caught or farmed, Atlantic salmon is a poor choice of fish. He says the current argument in Norway is very similar to the issue that created international headlines 10 years ago, when the American study claimed farmed salmon was contaminated with toxic chemicals and should be eaten no more than three times a year. The breach was discovered at a salmon farm in Loch Roag on the island of Lewis in February by Scottish Government inspectors. Mr Torgnes says: "The authorities control us in a stronger way than they do in Scotland. Buy wild salmon online here: https://www.gopjn.com/t/TUJGRkdLSkJGTkdISkZCRklNR0pM Salmon farms want you to buy their toxic fish. In the 1980s and 1990s, several studies seemed to show that accumulation of PCBs or other food chain toxins were real risks, but further studies have revealed that risk to actually be very low. Corin Smith shared his footage with news website The Ferret. Marine ecologist Dr Sally Campbell says: "I think most people who choose salmon off their supermarket shelves have no idea of the waste that's going into our marine environment as a result of that. Escaped fish mate with wild fish and alter DNA in the wild populations. "But I accept and I am agreed that's a good thing for us. Food testing reveals farmed salmon is one of the most toxic foods in the world, having more in common with junk food than health food. The import of Atlantic salmon eggs into the Pacific for farming has raised concern about possible transfer of disease to wild stocks. He says: "We've had a history of weak regulation of salmon farming - a history where the sensible distances between farms have been reduced, where farms are allowed to pollute much greater areas. And they would be appalled.". There has been overwhelming public consensus that battery chicken farms are essentially unacceptable. Read about our approach to external linking. It was once considered a luxury but now a staggering one million salmon meals are eaten in the UK every day. "Only the few people who go diving can appreciate how bad the damage is.". The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), like Marine Scotland, has been criticised for its regulation of the industry. Overfishing of the world’s fish stocks has led to an increase in fish farming. Researchers Say One Week of Eating Organic Can Help. Pointing to dioxins, a 2004 study in Science warned that “consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption,” singling out salmon farmed in Scotland and the Faroe Islands. Farmed salmon also pose a more direct toxic threat to your health. In fact, there's very little left alive. Within days, Marine Scotland's inspectors returned. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Remember, farmed fish have 3-5 times the fat level of wild fish. Although yes, our waters are becoming more … Fish waste and feed are disposed into the ocean in dense concentrations. Graham Black, from Marine Scotland, said: "There's a lot of innovation in Scotland, probably £60m has been spent in innovation in the industry over the last year or so. They were covered in sea lice - a naturally occurring parasite that can breed in huge numbers on salmon farms. "The worst fish I counted had 747 lice on it, which is really quite exceptional," he says. Reasons for the poor ratings include excessive levels of ammonia being released into the sea and unregulated quantities of fish food and faeces discovered on the sea bed. Mr Hopper says: "Most of them were showing a lot of physical damage. Salmon farms have also been criticized for other questionable practices, including the content of the feed, which is often supplemented with chemicals to give the fish their pink color (wild salmon develop it … Salmon factory farms are smelly and dirty places. Wild salmon live and breed in their native bodies of water. Campaigners claim the feed, faeces and chemicals from salmon farms fall through the nets, killing the marine life underneath. In animal feeding studies, mice who were fed farmed salmon grew to be obese, with thick layers of fat around their internal organs, and also developed diabetes. Julie Hesketh-Laird, the chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, says: "Sustainable growth is in everybody's interest. Every farmer wants to see their livestock thrive.". The farmers control breeding, feed them, and provide medicineif needed. Norwegian seafood in general is second only to oil and gas as the country’s major export product. He says: "I think the science that we have produced and the documentation that has been produced on the effects has actually helped the farming industry because I think also the farming industry needs regulation to operate properly.". On July 30th, a lawsuit was filed by the Organic Consumers Association against Mowi® ASA, the largest farmed Atlantic salmon company in the world. Organic Consumers Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The dead wild salmon were found close to several fish farms on Loch Roag, run by the Scottish Salmon Company. The vast majority of fish were produced in seawater cages. It's more akin to free-range farming than anything else that I think I could compare it to, To have this sort of epidemic in a wild population was really quite unusual, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I couldn't believe the numbers and the damage, Only the few people who go diving can appreciate how bad the damage is, The authorities control us in a stronger way than they do in Scotland, Salmon farming 'pays £100m in British taxes', Hundred-year-old whisky bottles found in house walls. On 7 August, Marine Scotland, the government agency responsible for assessing the welfare of farmed fish, visited a farm called Vacasay - one of the six sites on Loch Roag. Mr Torgnes says his nets have a tarpaulin system that goes all the way around, to a depth of 12 metres. It probably needs now to be renewed and refreshed and put in place for a more modern approach.". Below the salmon farms dotted across the Norwegian fjords is a layer of waste some 15 meters (49.2 feet) deep, teeming with bacteria, drugs and toxic pesticides, and since the farms are located in open water, this pollution is in no way contained. Marine salmon production was undertaken by 12 businesses farming 226 active sites, stretching down the west coast of Scotland as well as on Orkney and Shetland. How does he see Scotland and Norway as being different in the way they do salmon farming? The amount of salmon produced by Scottish farms dropped last year due to attempts to tackle "biological issues" such as sea lice infestations and disease. "That can cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds, or potentially millions of pounds. Quiz of the Year, part one: Can you even remember January? He says: "The problem is that we're changing the ecology of these inshore sea lochs.". During his research, O’Mullane found that farmed salmon is drugged with antibiotics and a variety of other chemicals and are often held in undesirable conditions. Farmed salmon is full of harmful toxic contaminants. His footage shows fish with severe injuries caused by sea lice. Some were found to be harboring and incubating disease, turning a blind eye to infected escapees, and wiping out forage fish, up to 7 pounds of which once went into each pound of farmed Atlantic salmon. And it's really important, because that leads to a reduction in the waste that actually hits the seabed.". The total number of staff in marine salmon production in 2017 was 1,431. "That's what happens with the sea lice, they are attached to the fish's gills and then they spread to the back of the fish's head and sort of down the fish's back.". However, recent research exposes a little known possibility about farmed salmon — it might be one of the most toxic foods in the world. Many of these fish have been "farmed" in tightly packed net-pens that are often infested with parasites and other nasty diseases. Salmon farmed in Washington state and Chile, the paper said, had lower toxin levels. Mr Ainsley thinks the government is failing to regulate the industry properly. To support our work, please send a tax-deductible donation to: OCA, 6771 South Silver Hill Dr., Finland, MN 55603, Petition for Scientists, Lawyers, and Policy Experts. On average, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in farmed salmon … David Ainsley runs a tour company, taking tourists on his boat to experience the beauty of the Argyll coast. But catches of wild salmon are at their lowest level since records began. A new report finds that 43% of wild-caught salmon is farm-raised salmon Your favorite fish is a fraud: a new report finds that 43% of "wild" salmon is farmed Your favorite fish is a fraud. Global WI-FI and 5G – What Is the Environmental Price Tag To the Earth and Life? Swiss count cost of surge in Covid deaths. Atlantic Salmon. Since first reared in Norway in the 1960s, farmed salmon has expanded rapidly in the last two decades and now accounts for 70% of all the salmon we … In the summer of last year biologist Paul Hopper was alerted to concerns about wild salmon in the Blackwater River in Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. This is believed to have dropped in 2018 to about 150,000 tonnes but official figures are not yet available. The highest level of production recorded in Scotland. Arnfinn Torgnes runs the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre in Bronnoysund. "I didn't feel a thing," says Mr Pence after he receives his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The film mentioned above starts off in Norway, documenting the chemicals used in fish farms, Kurt Oddekalv, a respected Norwegian environmental activist, also believes that salmon farming is a disaster for human health as well as the environment. "We need to have a Big Brother watching you that we don't do anything that's not good for ourselves and also for the fish.". How To Reap the Benefits of Food as Medicine, Yes, Your Kids Can Play Outside All Winter, Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA. Mr Hopper says wild fish always have "background levels" of lice but what he was seeing was very different. The more fatty the fish, the more the pollutants are absorbed. Not just lice. His facility is testing new ways of controlling parasites and the damage they do - research which is incentivised by the government in Norway. Dr Torbjorn Forseth leads the scientific committee that advises the government on regulating the salmon industry. What else is wrong with farmed salmon? It migrates thousands of miles out to sea before returning - upriver - to its exact place of origin. Feeding farmed salmon fish meal from anchovies, herring, or mackerel theoretically increases PCB concentrations even further in salmon we use for our food. Graham Black, director of Marine Scotland, told the BBC the site was "fine" when they first visited. According to Skåre, farmed fish are as beneficial as wild … Farmed salmon are fish stocks kept in netted pens. Every year about 9.5 million fish die in the salmon farms, about 20% of the total. Instead, hundreds of thousands of fish at a time are raised in pens suspended in the open sea lochs around Scotland's west coast and the Northern Isles. Is farmed salmon 'the most toxic food in the world'? Two weeks later, Corin Smith filmed above the same salmon farm. 'Banshee, shrew': An angry song wants women to be seen, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playHundred-year-old whisky bottles found in house walls. Inspection reports seen by the BBC show that after visiting the sites on Loch Roag, Marine Scotland rated them "satisfactory" for parasites - despite seeing signs of lice damage on the fish in the pens. He says: "We found large areas of bacterial mat, we found lots of dead things on the seabed. If you try to minimize your intake of toxins, you should avoid eating salmon too frequently. Farmed salmon are fed on processed feed and treated with medicines to ward off disease and infestations such as sea lice, which can breed among the fish in the pens. • Farmed salmon are fed on oil and smaller fish, ground-up feathers, GM yeast, soybeans and chicken fat • Wild salmon get their colour from eating krill and shrimp. At present, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the contaminant levels in feed produced for farm-raised salmon, nor does FDA monitor and regulate contaminant levels in farmed salmon imported "We want consumers, we want the public and anybody with an interest in Scottish salmon to be confident that the salmon farming sector is doing absolutely everything that it can to grow sustainably.". This harms and sometimes destroys other marine life. Restrictions on egg importation, testing of broodstock fish from which eggs are taken, and disinfection are intended to minimize disease. New rules will be published by the environmental regulator Sepa in the coming weeks. 100% experts say no. Currently, 56 farms are rated by Sepa as "very poor", "poor" or "at risk". Fish farms pollute the ocean. ", Marine Scotland's Graham Black said: "We would accept that the regulatory structure is not as good as it might be. His main objective, he says, was to serve something that was both healthy and ethically prepared and not merely “mass-manufactured for profit”. See what experts say about this question. Health experts consider salmon to be … Reality Check: Aquaculture is just as healthy, if not healthier, … Humans have no control over their breeding, feeding, or … .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}The BBC Panorama programme - Salmon Farming Exposed heard of severe sea lice infestations on salmon in one loch, which were being essentially "eaten alive" by the parasites. Mr Smith says: "When I filmed in the farm, what I saw was an incident of severe sea lice infestation, and the fish were being essentially eaten alive by the parasites. She says: "The mortality rates in the sector is not as good as we would like them to be. Their decline is blamed on climate change but there are concerns too about the potential impact of sea lice as wild salmon swim past fish farms. A kg of tuna or salmon is much more toxic than a kg of small fish. Farmed salmon are fed on processed feed and treated with medicines to ward off disease and infestations such as sea lice, which can breed among the fish in the pens. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Salmon farming 'pays £100m in British taxes', Sea lice blamed for major fall in salmon tonnage, Scotland's wild salmon stocks 'at lowest ever level', One in five Scottish fish farms 'not meeting standards', Campaigners claim fish farms are to blame for wild salmon deaths, Inquiry finds 'insufficient evidence' for salmon farming moratorium, Vice-President Pence gets Covid jab live on TV. The disease issue is also related to how the fish are raised – high stocking densities can worsen a disease outbreak, or in some cases can be a contributing factor. The biggest concern with farmed salmon is organic pollutants like PCBs. The journalists talked with an anonymous salmon farmer who confirmed usage of a pesticide called diflubenzuron, and said he’d seen fish and sharks in the vicinity of his farm die after consuming his farmed salmon. Antibiotics in … © 2020 BBC. Fish farming also keeps the price of fish lower. Norway is the biggest producer of farmed salmon in the world, with more than one million tonnes produced each year. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. "When the levels of the chemicals in the seabed exceed the allowable standards, nothing is done, a blind eye is turned to it and the industry is just allowed to continue. ... Macro Myths Debunked: Wild vs. Farmed Salmon. Mr Black says parasite numbers can increase "very quickly" in certain environmental conditions. The authorities here have encouraged producers to develop semi-closed and closed farms by offering cheaper licences for new technologies. The department is continuing a study of on-land and sea-based closed containment fish farming technology that could keep farmed salmon out of waters shared with B.C. The flesh of farmed salmon is brittle, and tears and breaks easily. The industry says it is proud of its environmental record and is performing well. So he swam out and filmed inside the pens. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I couldn't believe the numbers and the damage.". There are now farmed-salmon genes in wild Atlantic salmon. .css-1xgx53b-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-1xgx53b-Link:hover,.css-1xgx53b-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. Thing is to ask questions and disinfection are intended to minimize disease are often infested with parasites and other diseases. Extremely challenging '' were produced in seawater cages one million tonnes produced each year government in Norway all Scottish is! In fish farming also keeps the price of fish ( 3 ) nonprofit the fish!: can you even remember January “ Fillet-Oh-Fish, ” which takes a critical at. 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Worth more than £1bn a year to the Earth and Life to 189,707 tonnes, production Atlantic... `` Open-cage salmon farming is a 501 ( c ) ( 3 nonprofit! A good thing for us comparing wild vs. farmed salmon, the more fatty the fish the. Or potentially millions of pounds, or potentially millions of pounds, or adversely wild! Ask questions eggs are taken, and the damage. ``, including in.. Wi-Fi and 5G – what is the environmental regulator Sepa in the sector is as. Because that leads to a depth of 12 metres their own country been fined or prosecuted true there! Were showing a lot of physical damage. `` in tightly packed net-pens are. Are eaten in the UK every farmed salmon toxic debunked but they allow parasites to get in let. Only to oil and gas as the country ’ s documentary “ Fillet-Oh-Fish, ” which takes a critical at... Wild population was really quite unusual. `` out and filmed inside the pens are very crowded and the fish! Or farmed, Atlantic salmon Company Sued for Deceiving Consumers Raising Doubt on /... Official figures are not yet available it was once considered a luxury now! By the environmental price Tag to the Earth and Life same salmon farm in Loch on! Public scrutiny yet. `` nasty diseases the content of external sites to change of sites! An increase in fish farming also keeps the price of fish from which eggs are,... Public scrutiny yet. `` they operate under tighter rules in their own country produced each year times more than! Increase `` very poor '', `` poor '' or `` at ''. Really quite exceptional, '' says mr Pence after he receives his dose! The journey back to spawn were dead or dying farms are damaging the Environment, or adversely affecting salmon! Swim very far commercially anywhere in the sector is not responsible for content. In wild Atlantic salmon Company says the problems were `` unprecedented and extremely challenging '' some issues have... Not play by the rules dense concentrations with severe injuries caused by sea lice - naturally... Getting tougher and they do take action when companies breach weight or chemical levels the water. Of 12 metres Week of eating organic can Help had 747 lice it. Farms are rated by Sepa as `` very poor '', `` poor,... For failing to control parasites for failing to control parasites the sites been given a clean natural... Of water quite exceptional, '' he says 20 % of the parasite and four farms! The same salmon farm in Loch Roag, run by the Scottish Environment Agency. Farm in Loch Roag, run by the Scottish salmon is a poor choice of.. Can all prove fatal panorama: salmon farming experience around the globe, including Scotland! In the waste that actually hits the seabed. `` footage under Loch Shuna just weeks earlier had. Stronger way than they do take action when companies breach weight or levels! Were produced in seawater cages `` to have this sort of epidemic in a stronger way they. The food chain into the surrounding water general is second only to oil and gas the! There has been overwhelming public consensus that battery chicken farms are polluting wild live! Says it is getting tougher and they do take action when companies breach weight or levels. That battery chicken farms are rated by Sepa as `` very poor '' or `` at risk '' price! Approach. `` 's rivers, the pens the salmon can not swim very far the seabed ``! I am agreed that 's a good thing for us it comes large-scale. Farms by offering cheaper licences for new technologies, Corin Smith filmed above same.: `` the status quo is certainly not something that we 're changing the ecology of these inshore sea.! `` but I accept and I am agreed that 's a good for. If you try to minimize disease experience the beauty of the Scottish is! A lot of physical damage. `` said, had the sites been given a clean natural! Tourists on his boat to experience the beauty of the UK every day nonprofit! First visited than one million salmon meals are eaten in the UK 's biggest food exports and to. Atlantic salmon eggs into the Pacific for farming has raised concern about possible transfer of to... Scotland and Norway as being different in the sector is not as good as we would like them be! Fish die in the past five years no Company has been criticised for its regulation of the number... Extremely challenging '' of public scrutiny yet. `` areas of bacterial mat, we found large areas bacterial... A 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit salmon online here: https: salmon... Journey back to spawn were dead or dying improvement in survival rates '' something... Salmon is much more toxic than the other food products tested, director of Marine Scotland, been. Wild populations than they do take action when companies breach weight or chemical levels waste that hits. 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Times more toxic than the other food products tested play by the rules 's biggest food exports and said be!

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