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Is fish farming bad?

Argh. As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, now I have to worry about whether fish farms are a threat to the environment or not.

From the Northwest to New England, salmon farming’s critics contend the operations are a waterborne version of the terrestrial feed lot, contributing to ocean pollution, competing unfairly with wild fish and spreading disease.

Now a group called the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform is aiming a “Farmed and Dangerous” campaign directly at consumers, who can now get salmon year-round, often for as little as $3.99 a pound.

It’s the usual he-said/she-said argument, where Industry Officials say that they meet the strictest standards and Industry Critics say the standards either suck or aren’t being met at all. I don’t have enough feel for this yet to know who’s blowing more smoke.

In the end though, flavor might determine consumers’ choice more than anything.

“Wild salmon tastes better, in our opinion,” said Lane Hoss, a spokeswoman for Anthony’s Restaurants, which has 18 restaurants from Olympia to Bellingham.

While Hoss had not heard anything about the boycott, she said: “We’ve just always been committed to wild salmon.”

To each his own, [Washington State Sen. Dan] Swecker said; some people prefer the taste of farmed salmon.

“They are blander in taste because of what they’re fed. Typically Americans prefer white fish that are deep-fat fried. It’s a matter of preference.”

I weep for my country’s taste buds. No wonder the French sneer at us.

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14 Comments

  1. Mmmmmm!!! Long John Silvers!!! Malt vinegar!!!

    Sorry — my wife loves salmon, and I can’t bear it except smoked and in verrrrrrry small portions. The smell of cooking salmon alone drives me out of the house proper.

    One more thing — aren’t we supposed to be “for” fish farms because they allow the wild salmon to live long and prosper? I thought they were somewhat over-fished in the wild.

  2. That’s what I’m saying. I thought fish farms were “good”, too. Now I’m all confused. I may have to do some Actual Research. My head hurts just thinking about it.

    Personally, I love salmon, but I think it’s best when there’s some kind of sauce or other flavor that goes with it. Salmon by itself isn’t as good. It does have a strong smell, so if you don’t like it there’s not much you can do other than flee in terror.

  3. Depends how you plant ’em.

  4. Of course wild salmon have more flavor. Wild anything has more flavor than its domestic counterpart (although whether that flavor is enjoyable is another story).

    Hungry people don’t generally much about the flavor, though; they’re interested in whether there is any.

  5. Of course wild salmon have more flavor. Wild anything has more flavor than its domestic counterpart (although whether that flavor is enjoyable is another story).

    Hungry people don’t generally much about the flavor, though; they’re interested in whether there is any.

  6. Oh you poor man – Actual Research! Frankly, I find it over-rated. 🙂

  7. Helen "bitch" Brueen says:

    of course salmon from fish farms taste good, they add things to make them be colored so it can appealing to the consumer’s eye

  8. Helen "bitch" Brueen says:

    of course salmon from fish farms taste good, they add things to make them be colored so it can appealing to the consumer’s eye

  9. FPSer says:

    I think we need to all considerhow fish farming is bad. I have been doing my reseach. Think of all the damage it can cause. The fish are almost artifical. Who wants to eat fake food? Not me. Well thats my argument. Im totally aganst fish farming.

  10. anomynus says:

    I hate fish farming. It pollutes the world and makes all the sad fish live in cages and are born to die. How would you feel to be in their shoes???

  11. A High School Student says:

    I think fish farming is bad. I am researching it for socials studies and the evidence is pretty clear. They pollute water, contaminate wild fish, have higher levels of dangerous chemicals, escape to compete with wild salmon, and MUCH more. I only eat wild salmon. If it is bad to eat farm salmon more than once a month do you really want to to eat something like that at all? Yuck.

  12. love2fish says:

    i love 2 fish I think fish is good but i don’t won’t 2 be part of the cause 4 endangering them. I think that fish are just as important as humans. How would you like it if you were a fish and people stuck hooks through your lip and rilled you in so then you couldn’t breathe. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t. So just leave the fish alone.

  13. researcher says:

    Fish farming is causing diseases to humans and wild salmon. Everyone 1 LB of farmed fish takes 3LB of Wild Fish to feed.

  14. Alison says:

    My cousin was involved with fish farming and he said it is repulsive because a lot of fish have a disease where they have a normal head but their body is twig thick. farmed fish are not good for you and it is really not good for the farmed fish either.