Home Forums Due September 3 by 11:59 pm Frankenfish?

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    Salmon population decline appears to be inversely related to the rise in domesticated salmon stocks. Salmon populations across North America have been declining due to many factors (such as overexploitation of the resource and improper environmental management), and as such there is a rise in stocks of domesticated salmon to compensate. As salmon is such a sought-after cuisine, it is expected that as wild populations decrease, our economic incentive to fund domesticated populations rise. Wild salmon populations remain at risk due to both environmental and anthropogenic factors, so we are raising our domesticated salmon populations to meet the market demand. Domesticated salmon allows for a continued supply of salmon into the food market without entirely eliminating the wild populations, so it is possible that these domesticated populations relieve some of the economic pressure to overfish our salmon populations. However, it’s hard to say that farmed fish are “saving” the wild populations from overexploitation, as the risks posed from domesticated salmon populations is not to be overlooked. Genetically modified salmon may pose a risk to wild populations if they escape from the farms, and the food sources required to feed domesticated populations may be leeching from the wild salmon’s natural food source. Though farmed fish are said to be mostly infertile, the possibility remains for some escaping individuals to breed with natural populations, and also to be in direct competition for food and resources. Farmed fish may thus then be considered a risk to wild populations unless a foolproof method of raising them is established. We can say that increased numbers of domesticated salmon may be due to a decline in wild salmon as the desire for salmon in the market drives up artificial production of salmon, but future salmon population declines may be, in part, due to risks that domesticated salmon pose.


    I agree, salmon has definitely become a much more popular food source especially here in America with the rise of “healthy eating” and the nutritional groups. Trying to make up for the over exploitation by farming salmon doesn’t seem to be a great alternative as it seems the more we produce farmed salmon the more we harm those in the wild. It all just seems like a bad cycle to me.


    I agree. We need to find some better way to handle either the declining population of wild salmon or how to handle the destructive nature of domesticated salmon so that they do not pose a threat to wild salmon populations, and possibly strengthen their numbers. We should be looking at both new and effective methods to raise wild salmon populations and look into the genetic code of the domesticated salmon to better their survival.

    Kyleigh McArthur

    I agree with the fact that farmed fish can cause problems if or when they escape into the wild. However, I struggle to see how they can be classified as genetically modified salmon. Yes they are raised from egg to adult and then sold from that point. But at what point in the process are they being genetically modified?

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World