Salmon: Farm Raised vs. Wild

Wild Salmon or Farm Raised?

Here’s another good reason to choose wild salmon over farmed salmon: Salmon farming may have a disastrous effect on salmon in the wild.

According to a new study from the University of Alberta Centre for Mathematical Biology, sea lice that breed in fish farms may kill as much as 95 percent of wild juvenile salmon when migration paths take the salmon near fish farms in late spring when the sea lice population is highest. Juvenile salmon are only one to two inches long.

The Alberta team counted sea lice on more than 14,000 salmon, and investigated more than 3,000 dead fish to assess cause of mortality. Mathematical models estimated the total impact on salmon farms worldwide. A Princeton University wildlife disease specialist reviewed the research and called it, “very difficult to refute.”

In a University of Alberta press release, Dr. Mark Lewis, a biologist and a co-author of the study, noted that, “We often worry about wildlife making humans sick, but here is a case where humans are making wildlife sick.”

You can read a detailed comparison of wild salmon to farmed salmon in the e-Alert “Hook, Line and Sinker,” which you can find at this link:


“Salmon Farms Kill Wild Fish” University of Alberta, 10/3/06,