FFT- Salmo Domesticus

Salmo domesticus is a breed of salmon somewhat like the others but not quite. This type of salmon had different qualities on the inside because it is a farmed fish. Salmo domesticus turned out to be one of the most successful salmon in the world because the Norwegians ability to turn a fish farm unit into an international way of fish farming around the world. Tons of farmed fish were being harvested at the time, the waters were filled with cages and farmed fish were being shipped all over. I think Salmo domesticus evolved because we (as fishermen and humans in general) were not patient enough to work with the resources that we had so we created another resource to substitute the lack of wild salmon that we are causing to go extinct in the first place. Salmo domesticus can be both beneficial and detrimental in many ways. For example, on the beneficial side, creating a new species of salmon can provide more food for people who eat it as long as we are not hurting the environment that our wild salmon live in. But compensating the weight of losing our wild salmon with farmed fish is not going to help repair the damage that is already caused. Farmed salmon do not benefit the ecosystem the same way a wild salmon does.


Paul Greenberg also mentions some of the process that goes into farming salmon, “-farmed salmon require as much as six pounds of wild fish,” (Four Fish Greenberg, pg.43). If we are going to create a species of fish that we can eat but feed it our own food that we should be eating, why are we farming salmon? It reminds me of the question asked by Arthur McEvoy today in class, “What ought we sustain?” Why don’t we sustain the environment that we have already?


Salmo Domesticus is a species of farmed salmon that has evolved from  Atlantic Salmon to grow faster and to take less food to grow. The Salmo Domesticus was created by two Norwegian brothers named Sivert and Ove Grontvedt. They took young salmon from forty different water systems and the salmon breeders realized that if they breed species from those forty different water systems, that eventually they will have a species of salmon that takes less time to mature and requires less food to eat. I think that they are detrimental because because in the wild as much a nintey nine percent of wild salmon don’t live to adulthood and with these farmed salmon, there mortality rate is much lower and they are starting to overwhelm the wild fish populations. I think that instead of farming these fish we should put our efforts into repopulating the wild salmon. Because if wild salmon go extinct, then many indigenous people will have to change their way of life. Many indigenous people have created there way of life around these salmon and without that, it could end very badly. There is more than one viewpoint on this however, The farmed salmon could be very useful in the economy. With these farmed salmon, many people that could not have ever eaten salmon unless it was out of a can, could have fresh salmon regularly and salmon are a very healthy eating option providing plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids. So from one viewpoint, this is quite bad, and from the other, it is very benifical.

FTT 9/22- Salmo domesticus

To my understanding Salmo domesticus is when a salmon is no longer wild, man interferes with the natural life cycle. What is the purpose? Man no longer views the fish, Salmon as an animal but an item, with room to improve. Norwegians were able to double the growth rate of the salmon which means it takes less time for the fish to mature, time is money. In addition, from this breeding became a separate line of salmon, domestic losing it’s wild heritage. Allowing for increased production of farmed salmon forever with selective breeding of favorable genes for human consumption. While being able to feed more of the population at a reduced price is a novel thought the Salmo domesticus poses some concerns. One being that one that escapes from farm pens into the wild breed with wild stock. This is bad because the fish born in captivity don’t possess the traits that wild fish do and depend on for survival. For example a fish spawning in a faster moving stream/river needs to be stronger and bigger to be successful or adaptations needed to avoid predators. The Salmo domesticus dilutes the gene pool and makes the fish born in the wild with their traits struggle to reproduce viable offspring. Another drawback is the hormones, pesticides and antibiotics being introduced to the farmed fish. Which ultimately finds its way back to the consumers plate, raising health concerns for consumption as well as the ecosystem surrounding farm sites. These fish are not meant to survive without human support. I understand that stocks are struggling to sustain themselves due to decades of human disruption and that a farmed fish was created in response. Although I can’t help feeling there are two wrongs trying to make a right which is really just creating yet another obstacle for the depleting wild stock.

FTT #3

Salmo domesticus is a term that applies to the farming or “domestication” of salmon.  I loved this section of the chapter.  I had no idea how fish farming evolved, and Paul Greenberg explained it very well.  According to Greenberg, In the 1960’s, Norwegian brothers Sivert and Ove Grontvedt began collecting Atlantic salmon juveniles and raising them in nets suspended in the fjords of Hitra, Norway.  This was done in response to the dwindling stocks of wild Atlantic salmon throughout the world.  Seeing the success the Grontvedt brothers were having with cultivating fish, Norwegian animal breeder Trygve Gjedrem decided to apply the same breeding techniques that were being used in agriculture (trait selecting) to the breeding process with farmed Atlantic salmon.  It took only 14 years for the Norwegians to double the growth rate of these fish.  By 1971, Norway’s Salmo domesticus were being shipped to starving countries all over the world.

I have very mixed feelings regarding Salmo domesticus.  I think the concept of fish farms is pretty incredible, and started out with all the right intentions.  On one hand, the fact that Atlantic salmon are now being produced in countries that never before had this option, is pretty amazing.  On the other hand, the waste being produced, the hormones and antibiotics being fed to the fish, and the pesticides being used are creating environmental and health concerns.  However, I believe these farms are ultimately a good thing.  Wild fish are diminishing, and as long as cultivators can find a way to keep a species alive, without wreaking havoc on the environment, then I believe fish farms could be beneficial as a consumer product.

FTT #03 – Syrena

The Salmo domesticus is a salmon that can grow twice as fast as that of the natural species of salmon. In Norway, breeders placed salmon in “cages” and breed them with the intention of increasing growing speed. After 14 years of breeding, they had a salmon that grew twice as fast as the original stock. The productivity of this salmon led to the development of an international industry as Norway did business with Chile and there are now salmon there.

This fish is a curse.

When it escapes from the farms it wreaks havoc on local wild fish populations by competing for resources. When it comes to survival for the sake of reproduction, this salmon does poorly against strong currents that its native brethren use for spawning grounds. This salmon is not native to some of the regions that it is now farmed.

There is also the issue of feeding these salmon and the waste that they produce. Many wild fish are killed to make feed for these salmon lowering the wild populations and putting undue pressures on those habitats. The waste that is left behind leaves zones of low productivity and could be considered a health risk.

The issue with this situation is that it is a global industry. There is money that can be made by farming salmon so the consequences do not matter to the industry. It is allowed by the governments because the industry is providing revenue to the economies; remember FDA’s approval of DDT pesticides which supported the agricultural industry. Even when there is some form of governmental oversight, there are usually members of the board that used to work for the large companies of that industry or later leave the oversight boards to be employed by those companies; think of the FDA’s approval of GMOs and its revolving door relationship with Monsanto.

FTT- 9/22

Salmo domesticus in my understanding is domesticated salmon. This means  it was made to grow fast and in a controlled environment. When I very first learned about farmed fish is was not good . I was told that they put growth hormones and dyes into the fish to make them look more appealing so they can be sold more easily.  When reading from what Greenburg says about the farmed fish I believe that they are detrimental to the environment.  From the book it states that to get one pound of farmed fish there would need to be six pounds of wild fish. These fish are ground up into pellets for the farmed fish to eat. (P.g. 44) This is very harmful to the environment causing a deficit in the wild populations.  Not only do these farmed fish need food they need a space to grow.  These farms are large and can harm the environment also.  There is waste and chemicals that are released from these farms harming the ecosystem around them.  In my own opinion I believe that farmed fish are harming our fish populations  and ecosystem.

FTT 9/20

Salmo domesticus is the farmed salmon that is so prevalent in the chapter on salmon this week. It is a really important topic in fisheries to discuss, as both the economic and environmental implications of farming so many fish are going to define the next few generations of fisheries. Farming salmon started as a small operation in Norway that soon became a phenomenon in many countries, once feeding and cultivating was worked out. Various breeds were selected and crossbred for the best traits, and aquaculture took off. 

Farmed salmon can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on how we handle it. On one hand, if we keep farmed salmon out of wild salmon streams and create sustainable environments for them, we could create our own food source and potentially not fish the wild salmon to extinction. Since humans as a species continue to grow exponentially, if we fish exclusively wild salmon at the current rate we are consuming salmon, the salmon will go extinct quickly. However, there is a large chance we won’t handle fish farming in the best way, and this could be incredibly detrimental if it gets out of hand. Farmed salmon could easily displace wild salmon in streams, which would undo all that we were striving for in the first place. In addition, there’s an ethical dilemma for some people about eating something we cultivated specifically for ourselves. When we eat farmed salmon, we are no longer eating a species that was wild, and we don’t always know enough about the genetic implications of eating something we invented. It is a dangerous game we are playing that could turn out to be the ruin of wild salmon.

FFT 9/22

Salmo domesticus is, in everyday language, domesticated salmon. It is the breed of salmon that Norwegians were able to create, in less than two decades, for salmon farming rather than any purpose in the wild. Breeders took salmon from their various natural environments all over the North and put them all together in order to promote the most desirable traits from each type of salmon. Depending on where the salmon were from, they had evolved different survival mechanisms, and the breeders wanted the best of everything. They crossed all the salmon in order to artificially select the traits of fast growth for less food. Since salmon breed so fast and the produce so many offspring (and that offspring is protected in the nets so the majority survive), the Norwegians were able to amplify these traits and create a new breed very quickly.
It’s hard for me to make a full judgement on whether Salmo domesticus are a blessing or a curse because I can see both sides of the argument. On one hand they are good because they promote a very important industry for the economy and the relieve the pressure on wild stocks. However, they also contaminate those wild stocks and cause most likely permanent damages to the viability, genetic diversity, and strength of fish in the wild when they escape. I think if I had to settle on a decision I would say they are detrimental because I truly believe in not interfering with the natural world and letting it be, but I understand that they are not entirely bad or entirely good.

Salmo domesticus

Salmo Domesticus simply put is Domesticated Salmon. Domesticus is actually Latin for, ” Belonging to the house.” In other words belonging to the same house, but not being brought up the same way. In other words, ” Salmon Farming.”  Salmon farming started at an experimental stage in the 1960’s, and became an actual industry in Norway in the 1980’s. All in order to modify and create a system  to grow bigger fish, at a faster rate. Norway is considered to be the world’s largest producing salmon country, as far as fish farms go. It has extended not only to the United states, but also in Canada, Scotland, and Chile.

After reading about Salmo Domesticus I would only infer that it is indeed a curse, only because it threatens the native species in many ways, on top of our own species as humans. The Salmo Domesticus can outperform the native salmon for a short time, but in the long haul they don’t sustain the energy they need to travel up river. They threaten the native salmon once they escape and move into the local salmon runs. While millions of farmed salmon escape every year, they can bring disease which is detrimental to the native salmon. The fish farms benefit, while the native population loses. This is not only a threat to other salmon, but also us as consumers. The consumption of farmed salmon can also pose internal issues with humans from pollutants that can increase antibiotic resistance in our gut. Think about it. These people are making money off of these fish farms not only to kill off existing salmon, but they are also potentially killing us as well.

One of the quotes that stood out the most to me in this chapter was, ” We can farm the tigers of the sea, as long as we feed them hay.” -Rick Barrows at USDA.

My question for the USDA is, ” When did this even become okay? ”

And my rebuttal is, ” Once we do this though, What was once a predator, could potentially now be prey.” Prey meaning a less chance at survival. Take this analogy for example, ” You cannot take a wolves’ canine teeth and claws out, and expect it to live to it’s primal potential.” In theory, it is no longer a wolf. In turn, it is just a domesticated dog. The same concept applies to salmon.

Forum Topic Due Sept 22 by 11:59 pm

In the Salmon chapter of Four Fish, Paul Greenberg introduces us to Salmo domesticus. In approximately 250 words, make sure you describe what Salmo domesticus is, and briefly your understanding of how it has come to be (i.e. evolved). Finish your post on your thoughts about whether you think species like Salmo domesticus are a blessing or curse (i.e. are beneficial or detrimental. Make sure to think about who benefits or loses)

By 11:59 pm on September 23, be sure to have posted comments on at least two other of your fellow student’s posts.

We will discuss about this topic on Thursday.


Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World