Rise of Domesticated Salmon and Fall of Wild Chinook

Home Forums Due September 3 by 11:59 pm Rise of Domesticated Salmon and Fall of Wild Chinook

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    In Four Fish Paul Greenberg describes the declining population size and run strength of wild chinook salmon. He goes on to explain the effects that declining run sizes can have on the people that depend on these fish to survive. This brings about the need to increase the amount of fish available in the market and for consumption in general. Hence, the breeding, rearing, and harvest of fish in a domestic and controlled environment allows humans to maximize the most amount of food for humans for the least cost to the fish farms. In the quest to create an easy and “sustainable” source of salmon for human consumption, the ideas of what a salmon is gets neglected. These salmon are raised to grow very large to maximize pounds and are often incapable of reproduction by themselves and lack the strength to survive in a wild salmon’s natural habitat.
    It is a common occurrence that farmed fish escape into the natural environment. In these cases the abundance of domesticated salmon increase competition for food with wild salmon populations and may crowd out wild salmon populations, further lowering the already shrinking wild populations. Additionally, the domesticated salmon have trouble reproducing on their own and are unable to replace the wild salmon they had previously crowded out of the area. So, wild salmon populations are caused to shrink even more increasing the need for domesticated salmon. Further, another issue raised by the growing use of domesticated fisheries is the issue of disease. Simply by having so many salmon together in one place it becomes a harbor for sickness. The disease fostered in these fisheries is then spread to wild salmon that share the same habitat through domestic escapement and through waste transfer, runoff, and water transmit. Overall, having domesticated salmon farms with the hopes of supplementing the existing populations of wild salmon is unrealistic. In reality the salmon domesticus is coming to further deplete the wild stocks of salmon and raise the need for more domesticated salmon for consumption.


    You really hit on most of the things people fear with farmed fish, especially with farmed fish escaping into the wild. The most interesting part to me is the idea that the fish farming industry could either change “what a salmon is” or disregard the evolutionary path that salmon have gone on to become the wild populations they are today. This points to just what bothers many people about the meat industry in general – that in order to produce as much product as possible, farms are motivated to create or breed populations that are able to maximize the meat output for consumers, regardless of the health or wellbeing of the creatures or the environment around them. If these fish are able to escape, it follows that it could present a risk to wild populations. However, humans have been modifying their food sources for as long as we’ve been farming. Does modification of a species through direct genetic modification or selective breeding inherently mean a negative outcome?


    There is a need for an intricate balance of farmed vs wild salmon. As stated in the book, the wild populations are no where near enough to sustain the demand of the market. Therefore, a balance is going to need to be met where consumers are still able to purchase their fish while protecting wild stocks. This could involve farm reform, i for one am not a proponent of net penning, and believe a lot of the issues at hand pertain to farmed fish sharing habitats with wild populations.


    We should just farm the fish from anything. As in male female fish takes to get a good spawn set if we”re going to do anything

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World