FFT 9/22

Salmo domesticus is, in everyday language, domesticated salmon. It is the breed of salmon that Norwegians were able to create, in less than two decades, for salmon farming rather than any purpose in the wild. Breeders took salmon from their various natural environments all over the North and put them all together in order to promote the most desirable traits from each type of salmon. Depending on where the salmon were from, they had evolved different survival mechanisms, and the breeders wanted the best of everything. They crossed all the salmon in order to artificially select the traits of fast growth for less food. Since salmon breed so fast and the produce so many offspring (and that offspring is protected in the nets so the majority survive), the Norwegians were able to amplify these traits and create a new breed very quickly.
It’s hard for me to make a full judgement on whether Salmo domesticus are a blessing or a curse because I can see both sides of the argument. On one hand they are good because they promote a very important industry for the economy and the relieve the pressure on wild stocks. However, they also contaminate those wild stocks and cause most likely permanent damages to the viability, genetic diversity, and strength of fish in the wild when they escape. I think if I had to settle on a decision I would say they are detrimental because I truly believe in not interfering with the natural world and letting it be, but I understand that they are not entirely bad or entirely good.

3 thoughts on “FFT 9/22”

  1. You brought up genetic diversity, which is such a great point. By engineering the gene pool of the fish we want, we are altering the potential of the species, not to mention adding stocks to rivers and accidentally making wild salmon populations reliant on ours. In a few decades, we could have salmon with a vastly different or smaller gene pool than they would have without our interference. This could easily mean their extinction if we were to suddenly stop interfering, or it could mean that we have lost wild salmon and all that is left is our own design. I also think that interfering in the natural world can lead to some really detrimental consequences.

  2. You bring up a good point. Yes, some worry that escaped salmon may spread disease to wild fish populations and could potentially jeopardize the breeding grounds of other fish stocks. My personal concern is the environmental pollution that is created from the waste these fish produce, as well as the antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides that are used to cultivate them. The idea that all of those unnatural chemicals are then ingested during human consumption is bothersome. It seems to me that fish farms should be able to come up with solutions to these problems/concerns, so that farmed fish will no longer be a threat to the environment or those consuming them.

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