Suitability for Domestication

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    Isabella Erickson

    Since Greenberg has already assessed the Sea Bass and has found them failing in all aspects, I am going to attempt to assess whether Atlantic salmon are good candidates for domestication based on Galton’s criteria.
    1. They should be hardy. Salmon are hatched in relatively large eggs, so they begin their life relatively large with a lot of nutrients. I assume that beyond this salmon are fairly hardy because they live a demanding life in the ocean and are able to return to the stream from which they were hatched. I would give salmon a hesitant four out of five for this category.
    2. They should have an inborn liking for man. I do not think that any fish really care about humans, except as they would another predator. The only possible exceptions that I could think of would be whales, dolphins, and maybe octopi, but these are not technically fish. Therefor, I give all fish zero out of five for this category.
    3. They should be comfort loving. Salmon need to move to keep afloat, and they need space to move around in. However, they do not shred themselves against the net like some fish do. I would give salmon a two out of five for this category.
    4. They should breed freely. I assume that it would be fairly easy to imitate a salmon’s natural life cycle to get them to spawn, or “breed,’ and salmon also have large eggs so it is fairly easy to understand the “breeding’ process. Each salmon also creates a lot of eggs, and in a controlled environment you would be able to raise a lot of salmon from a few pairs of salmon. I would give salmon a full five points for this category.
    5. They should be easy to tend. I can imagine that a salmon’s first transition from fresh to salt water would not be easy to replicate, but it is doable. They would also need a large area of moving saltwater to live in for their adult life. I would give them a three out of five for this category.
    I think that salmon score about as well as any fish could on this “test’ at about 56%, which is a lot better than Greenberg scored sea bass at.


    I personally would score the salmon on the test with a higher percentage than you have given them. Salmon eggs are very durable, have you ever tried to squish one in your finger? They are a lot harder to break than it seems. As long as you keep clean tanks, lots of oxygen, and cold water, salmon seem pretty content to live in raceways. I would bump up the scores on these two, to probably a 5 and 4, changing the percentage to at least a 72% on the test.


    I like the way you went in and examined the features of salmon and agree with your 56% score. Well thought through.


    I like how you thought this through and scored salmon for each portion of the criteria. However, since we are talking about Atlantic salmon i would have scored them higher. Having the yolk sac attached to their abdomens provides them with valuable nutrients for the earliest parts of their lives. This, along with removing natural predators, drastically improves their survival rates in captivity.


    I gave little higher score for salmon but I liked how you consider their transition from freshwater to salt water part. I didn’t think about it but I agree with you that it would not be that easy.


    Personally, you scored the salmon wrong. I would have given the salmon a much higher score because they make a lots of great points that the salmon have high scores in certain areas. Like hardiness and comfort levels.

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