September 2, 2019 at 2:35 pm #195613AJParticipant
Based on the chapter, salmon are an incredibly genetically diverse species. This allows them to adapt and spread out into such a wide variety of different habitats. Salmo domesticus, however, is based on human control and provision, rather than self-sustain. They were “built’ to be high consumers and fast growers in an ideal setting. Characteristics that make the wild salmon strong and suitable in their different habitats are lacking or lost through the many generations of breeding in Salmo domesticus to make them the ideal farm fish.
I think Paul Greenberg’s connection between Chinook salmon and Salmo domesticus is how dramatically farmed fish can affect wild populations. This occurs in two major ways: introduction of a weaker genome into wild salmon and environmental impact from farms. These are especially dangerous to salmon, because they are heavily farmed, and the farming is done in the wild.
The genetic gape between tame and wild salmon is considerably different now. When tame salmon inevitably escape (Paul Greenberg mentioned this is done in “…millions every year.’), they have the potential to introduce a genome that is weaker than the wild salmons’. With their ability to grow quickly, Salmo domesticus could reach later life stages faster than the wild salmon only to be unable to reproduce, because they cannot survive. The introduction of a weaker genome problem is two-fold: potential of introducing weak/poor characteristics in future offspring and diminishing populations from inability to reproduce.
Meanwhile, salmon farms are situated in rivers best suited for salmon, meaning they intrude on wild salmon habitat and expose them to any unfortunate circumstances that occur during farming. This includes diseases, parasites, and deoxygenation of the water from algae. Salmon farms, in their own way, pollute the wild salmon’s habitat.
On a personal note, I think the attraction of farmed salmon has left wild salmon on the wayside. The attention to mass producing a fish that can be so quickly and cheaply harvested has blind sided us to the environmental impact. Just because more farmed salmon are being produced and eaten, doesn’t mean wild salmon are unaffected.September 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm #195614Kortney BirchParticipant
I like how you claimed that “salmon farms pollute the wild salmon’s habitat” because it is so true. It is sad that humans are willing to alter the way of life for a wild animal just to make money. I understand that people live off of fish for survival, but many humans are turning to artificial fish-farming just to make profit.September 4, 2019 at 9:13 pm #195695khteetsParticipant
I agree with you that the wild population is being overlooked because we’re still harvesting large amounts from both wild and tame. I know there are certain people that make a living off the fish but we could start concerning ourselves a little more about the population and health of the fish we eat.
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