Salmo Domesticus

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    In the novel, Greenberg mentions several factors that have played a role in the decline of wild and the rise of “tamed’ fish. Not only with Chinook salmon here in Alaska, but with salmon all over the globe. One of these reasons he mentions being the mixing of genes from tamed and wild salmon. With selective breeding, fish farmers have chosen to breed a fish that is capable of producing more pounds of fish for less pounds of feed. However with this taming, they have also bred a salmon that is not capable of surviving on its own in a wild environment. This is due to the fact that farmers have nearly bred out any wild instinct the salmon may have had such as the ability to swim against strong currents, withstand temperature fluctuations, and survive against predators. At one point Greenberg mentions that “the tamed-salmon genome is now markedly different from the wild-salmon genome. When tamed salmon escape into the wild (as they do in the millions every year) they risk displacing a self-sustaining wild fish population with a domesticated race that is not capable of surviving without human support’ (44). I also believe that another main factor in the decline of the wild salmon would be the diseases and pollution coming off of salmon farms and spreading to wild salmon. The waste buildup in waterways has affected many ecosystems and the concentration of feed in the water caused nitrogen to build up which caused “algae to bloom and die and, in the process, deoxygenate the water’ (49). There were also diseases such as salmon anemia and parasites such as the sea louse that were spreading to wild salmon stocks and killing them. It seems that these issues are related since with the rise of the human population, we demand more fish than is sustainable. People have opted for salmon farming to make up for the deficit of food, which is having many effects on wild salmon, which in turn causes us to need to farm more.

    Kortney Birch

    I definitely agree that humans are creating a salmon species that has the possibility to overtake a wild species. The fact that humans are formulating a fish that can’t survive in the wild and are allowing these fish to escape into the wild, is totally unacceptable.


    I agree that farming fish causes negative effects. From disease to waste of resources. I believe that farming fish is not efficient and only causes negative effects around its environment.

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World