Organic Contaminants In Farmed Salmon

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On a global scale, fish has increasingly become an important food source. Today, our demands far exceed the sustainable yield of fish in our oceans. Our responses towards this issue have included the industrialization of fishing and fish farming. But fish, one of our most important sources of high-quality protein, provides some 16% of the animal protein consumed by the world’s population, (Food & Agriculture Organization, FAO, of the United Nations, 1997). For this reason, fish stocks are being depleted at a faster pace than the rate fish stocks are sustainably replenished. The most dramatic example of this is probably the Atlantic Ocean cod fisheries, off the coast of Newfoundland, which has became almost completely exhausted over just a …show more content…
Most of us do not take into consideration the risks of consuming salmon. Toxins are increasingly present in marine life. Unfortunately, the data from the “Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon” shows that toxins in farmed salmon are “significantly higher” than those found in wild salmon (Hites, et al., 2004). Significant among six other toxins are the carcinogenic PCBs (Hites, et al., 2004). For example, PCBs from farmed salmon in Scotland and Norway have been found to be roughly 50 ng/g wet weight (Hites, et al., 2004). Through the process of bio-accumulation, PCBs are even passed down from generation to generation. For these reasons, high levels of PCBs have led various government agencies (as, for example, the U.S. EPA) to issue advisories and warnings on the risk of consuming such contaminated fish (Hites, et al., 2004). The issues around toxins clearly diminish the overall value of salmon farming, since the product itself now becomes a source of health …show more content…
Much of the research in hand is not definitive and, therefore, itself the subject of controversy. Much more research (independent and free from stakeholder interests) is required—especially in the form of prolonged studies. Since, salmon farming appears to be negatively impacting the genetics of wild salmon, disrupting local ecosystems and sediments, and giving rise to health concerns for human populations, we can conclude from current studies that salmon farming is not a proven, sustainable, replicable way of producing and enhancing our food supplies. Only when our methods of farming fish begin to address the issues raised in this paper, can we make fish farming a safe, viable, and sustainable source of

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