The unsustainable story behind Scottish farmed salmon
Sustain member Feedback have calculated that the Scottish salmon farming industry uses 460,000 tonnes of wild-caught fish from across the globe every year to feed the salmon that ends up on our plates.
In a new report Feedback found that not only is the Scottish salmon industry using hundreds of thousands of wild caught fish to feed the farmed salmon, the industry plans to double its production by 2030.
Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export and farming fish requires high-protein feed. For the globally booming industry of farmed Atlantic salmon this means feed containing wild-caught fish sourced from European, South American and West Africa waters, alongside other ingredients such as soya and vegetable oils. Feedback calculated that the fish used to feed Scottish salmon is the same amount as all the fish and seafood purchased by everyone in the UK in one year.
The Scottish industry aims to double in size by 2030. This expansion would require 310,000 tonnes of extra wild fish a year. Feedback are asking people to write to the six key companies in the Scottish salmon industry and call on them to be transparent about their feed sourcing.
Businesses and consumers can help by being very careful about the salmon they buy. Most of the salmon we eat in the UK is from Scotland, Norway, Alaska and Canada. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is widely considered to be a good choice, and you can often find the Marine Stewardship Council ecolabel on packs or tins. For farmed salmon, it is much better to use certified sources - so look for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practices, or GlobalGAP certified. You can also choose smoked herring or trout instead.
Sustainable Fish Cities is a campaign to protect precious marine environments and fishing livelihoods, and call for fish to be bought from sustainable sources. We want to show what can be done if people and organisations make a concerted effort to change their buying habits. Sign up to our Fish Cities mailing list to keep updated.
Published 7 Jul 2019
Sustainable Fish: A campaign to protect precious marine environments and fishing livelihoods, and call for fish to be bought from sustainable sources. We want to show what can be done if people and organisations make a concerted effort to change their buying habits.
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