On Giving Up Salmon for Sardines


British Columbia salmon farming

Taras Grescoe, author of "Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood." writes in the New York Times about why he has given up on salmon.

"Wild Atlantic salmon are commercially extinct, and runs of Pacific salmon south of the Alaska panhandle are experiencing catastrophic collapses. This year, for the sake of the remaining wild salmon on the West Coast, as well as my own health, I'm changing my diet. Whether it's wild or farmed, I'm swearing off salmon."

Farmed salmon is not much of an option:
"In Chile, overcrowding in these oceanic feedlots led to this year's epidemic of infectious salmon anemia, a disease that has killed millions of fish and left the flesh of survivors riddled with lesions....In British Columbia, offshore net-cages are breeding grounds for thumbtack-sized parasites called sea lice."

Not to mention the vacuum cleaner of the ocean that farmed salmon is: "It takes four pounds of small fish like sardines and anchovies to make a single pound of farmed salmon, a process that deprives humans of precious protein."

He concludes: "So, I'll wait for next year and hope the West Coast fisheries show signs of recovery. Until then — or until salmon farmers convince me they've cleaned up their act — I'll be eating closer to the bottom of the food chain.

Sardines, it turns out, taste pretty good barbecued." ::New York Times

See Collin in Planet Green on Grescoe's book on Making More Sustainable food choices
Bill Nye on How Low Can You Go? (on the food chain)

TreeHugger on farmed fish:

Schwarzenegger Declares State of Emergency as Salmon Fishing ...
Deep Impacts: salmon farms threaten marine life and human health ...
Is "Pink Gold" Coming To Your Local Grocery Store Soon?

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