FFT- Salmo Domesticus

Salmo domesticus is a breed of salmon somewhat like the others but not quite. This type of salmon had different qualities on the inside because it is a farmed fish. Salmo domesticus turned out to be one of the most successful salmon in the world because the Norwegians ability to turn a fish farm unit into an international way of fish farming around the world. Tons of farmed fish were being harvested at the time, the waters were filled with cages and farmed fish were being shipped all over. I think Salmo domesticus evolved because we (as fishermen and humans in general) were not patient enough to work with the resources that we had so we created another resource to substitute the lack of wild salmon that we are causing to go extinct in the first place. Salmo domesticus can be both beneficial and detrimental in many ways. For example, on the beneficial side, creating a new species of salmon can provide more food for people who eat it as long as we are not hurting the environment that our wild salmon live in. But compensating the weight of losing our wild salmon with farmed fish is not going to help repair the damage that is already caused. Farmed salmon do not benefit the ecosystem the same way a wild salmon does.

 

Paul Greenberg also mentions some of the process that goes into farming salmon, “-farmed salmon require as much as six pounds of wild fish,” (Four Fish Greenberg, pg.43). If we are going to create a species of fish that we can eat but feed it our own food that we should be eating, why are we farming salmon? It reminds me of the question asked by Arthur McEvoy today in class, “What ought we sustain?” Why don’t we sustain the environment that we have already?

One thought on “FFT- Salmo Domesticus”

  1. Hi Andrea,
    To your question of why we (humans) are farming salmon when this method is depleting wild fish stocks. The answer is simply that fish farming is an industry that is responsible for generating lots of money and companies do not care about the consequences.

    As to the question of “What ought we sustain?”. I believe it is important to sustain a population of salmon so that future generations of Alaskans can enjoy it. I say Alaskans because I understand and agree that native cultures have a great connection with the salmon; though my family also subsists and I don’t want to take that opportunity away from anyone lives in this state year round, year after year. I don’t agree with out of state corporations and non-residents coming in and taking the salmon because they don’t need it.

    In order to sustain populations, I believe we need an understanding of where populations were originally and how those populations have fluctuated overtime. When I refer to originally and overtime I mean from the earliest records to present.

    Last spring I did a literature review on Steller Sea Lions in Alaska. I found that the main cause for the population’s fall from 1970s to 1990s was an extreme surpassment of carrying capacity and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, not commercial fishing. The most in-depth of the studies used samples dating back to some of the oldest Aleutian villages and other data to find that the population of Steller Sea Lions prior to the collapse was significantly higher than historical precedent.

    I admit that in the case of the salmon, the reduction in numbers is likely due to human mismanagement. Though I think that a deep time perspective is crucial so if/when population start improving we don’t surpass carrying capacity and cause a steep plummet.

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