The Beacon

Ted Danson Sets the Record Straight on Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon are not a sustainable seafood alternative. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

Last week we wrote about the Washington Post’s misleading article on farmed salmon. Since then, Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless teamed up with actor and ocean activist Ted Danson to set the record straight in an editorial for the Huffington Post.

They write:

Yesterday the Washington Post published a dangerously misleading article about farmed salmon. Lauding improvements in the salmon farming industry, they assert that farmed salmon is a viable alternative to wild-caught fish. We'd like to set the record straight: farmed salmon is a terrible choice for our oceans.

When you eat farmed salmon, you're really eating another fish called the jack mackerel, or another wild species like sardines or anchovies. Salmon are carnivorous, and farms feed their fish food pellets made from these smaller wild fish. The problem is that many of these species, especially jack mackerel, are dangerously overfished.

For most Chilean farms, it takes about three pounds of wild fish to feed one pound of salmon. So you are likely eating three pounds of jack mackerel or other wild species -- which are likely in trouble -- when sit down to eat your pound of farmed salmon. A small number of Chilean farms have managed to reduce this ratio to one to one. But even then, it still takes a pound of wild fish to make your pound of farmed salmon.

You can read the full editorial here, or check out a Letter to the Editor to the Washington Post, authored by Sharpless and Alex Muñoz, Oceana’s vice president for South America. 


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