Salmo Domesticus

Home Forums Due September 3 by 11:59 pm Salmo Domesticus

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    Greenberg describes the decline of wild salmon and the rise of farmed. Humans harmed wild salmon populations to the point where they were no longer viable sources of food. Salmon were once an abundant resource and have been severely overfished in some areas. It was not only overfishing of these species but also human development that impacted their populations. Dams were built that prevented salmon from returning to their spawning grounds and runoff affected water composition. Steadily many rivers that once were ideal habitat could no longer support the wild populations. To combat this problem people began fish farming as wild salmon became more scarce. Fish farming seems like an ideal answer to an ever growing problem but rather than alleviating fishing pressure from salmon it instead harms them. Chemicals and pathogens from these farms can harm wild salmon as well as other species. Potential escapees from salmon farms will harm salmon biodiversity. Domesticated salmon have been genetically modified to be more efficient by growing faster and requiring less food. There is very little genetic diversity amongst domesticated salmon. Fish that escape from these farms and are able to pass on their genes into the wild salmon population could affect their ability to survive in the wild. Greenberg draws a comparison to the domestication of cattle and how little they resemble their ancestors. By releasing these farmed varieties, they could harm the strong genetic diversity that has allowed salmon to survive for so long. I believe farming salmon could be a solution if it didn’t pose so much risk to wild populations. Is it worth destroying a species so that salmon remains a viable food source?


    I definitely agree about how lack of genetic diversity can have negative impacts on species. Without variation, the potential for mass die-offs due to disease increases which can be extremely devastating for wild species.


    I do believe that salmon and all animals in general need a high genetic diversity so as to better adapt to their environment. Without the variable genes, populations would eventually become stagnant and ultimately die off from an exotic disease and inbreeding.

    Ron Sheldon

    I agree with you that salmon farming most definitely has impacts on both the environment and wild salmon stocks. However, I can’t quite wrap my head around your argument of genetic diversity. I agree that strong genetic diversity is important. In salmon this has alowed them to adapt and specialize to a wide aray of stream conditions. However there is only so much genetic diversity in a given natal stream. The same decendents of the same salmon have been returning to the same stream for a long time. There already potential for the gene pool to get diluted. Straying of salmon from other streams actually increases the gene pool in that specific stream. Not looking to start an argument just give a different view of genetic diversity in salmon.
    “Friends don’t let friends eat farmed fish”

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World