Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation

Newsletter Signup

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Farmed Salmon

I am wondering if the popular recommendation to eat more fatty fish like salmon, in efforts to increase intake of O-3 fatty acids, is exposing more people to the consumption of excessive antibiotics, food colorants, grain fractions, etc. from farm raised sources.

As I read more articles about the negative aspects of poorly designed and regulated aquaculture farms, I am inclined to stick with US wild caught, cold water fatty fish sources or fall back on a fish oil supplement like Carlson's or Nordic naturals as uncontaminated Omega 3 fatty acid sources. Frankly I depend on fish oil/cod liver oil as my predominant source of dietary O 3 fatty acids.

Here's a recent story from the Boston Globe regarding the farming of salmon on the Atlantic coast.

"Atlantic farms used to give salmon mostly fish meal and fish oil, but have switched to a pelleted dry food made up of soybeans, wheat, and corn, along with fish oil. Feeding has become more efficient and now, according to Belle, the fish products make up only about one-third of the diet."

I wonder what percentage of the salmon sold in the US in farm raised?



I wonder if farm raised

I wonder if farm raised salmon also has an altered n3:n6 ratio, given they are feeding them soybeans and grains instead of n3-heavy algae like in the wild.

Submitted by drgarry on 9 Jul, 2007

Good thought Drgarry. Since

Good thought Drgarry. Since farmed fish are predominatly fed grain you would think that their flesh would be higher in n 6 than n 3. I did a quick google search and found the following on JigSawHealth:

Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that farmed salmon can contain 60% or more fat than wild-caught salmon—with just 16% of that fat as omega-3 fats, compared to 22-27% for wild-caught fish.

According to one study, wild-caught salmon contains far fewer PCBs, dioxins, or other contaminants than farm-raised salmon.

Another study showed that seven out of 10 farm-raised salmon purchased at grocery stores in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Portland were contaminated with PCBs at levels that raise health concerns.

Hmmm. More fat, less n 3 fatty acids. That's really unfortunate since a lot of people are trying to work salmon into their diet for health benefits.


Submitted by Teri Gruss on 9 Jul, 2007

Just found another website

Just found another website with some good stats and articles about wild versus farm raised salmon. From the environmental working group:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has control over store-bought fish, uses PCB safety standards set in 1984. For recreationally caught fish, the EPA employs a more recent standard that reflects current scientific concerns about PCBs and is 500 times safer than the FDA's.

“FDA could not have predicted the rise of the farmed salmon industry when it set its PCB safety standard decades ago,” said EWG Vice President for Research Jane Houlihan. “The industry’s growth has been rapid and unexpected, but it is having a real public health consequence.”

(This article is from 2003)

Here is another, more recent article:

Is Something Fishy In Aquaculture?
Newtown Bee (CT), Nancy K. Crevier

Published September 13, 2006


Submitted by Teri Gruss on 9 Jul, 2007