Method of production - Farmed
Production country - Europe
Production method - Open net pens, GlobalGAP certification
Accreditation - GlobalGap
Fish type - Oily fish
Salmon are farmed in open net pens in the sea. Producing fish in open systems can cause environmental impacts such as: impacts of chemical and sea lice treatment usage; nutrient and organic waste deposition; outbreaks of disease affected by high stocking densities; impacts on wild salmonids of transmission of sea lice, and escapes from farms. Salmon are carnivorous fish and rely on wild capture fisheries to produce their feed. At present more fish is required to manufacture this feed than is produced by farming them. MCS would therefore like to see a greater range of feed ingredients included in the diet of farmed salmon to reduce reliance on wild captured fish and so make farming of salmon a net producer of fish protein.
Salmon are termed "anadromous", meaning during their lifecycle they move between fresh and marine waters; salmon farming attempts to mirror this lifecycle. Broodstock fish are moved to freshwater for spawning, where the eggs are also fertilised and hatched. The hatched fish (called fry) are also kept in freshwater and fed using pellets manufactured from fish meal. At about 18 months the fish (now called smolts) are transferred to seawater cages where growth continues until market size is reached, usually at about 2 years.
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Open net pens, GlobalGAP certification
Salmon are farmed in open net pens in the sea. These are floating cages suspended in the sea and held in place by moorings underneath the cages. Water flows through the cages, which are made of strong netting that also allows waste to fall through to the sea bed below.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.
MCS Aquaculture Assessment Methodology 2014
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The UK charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife.