Atlantic Salmon

(Salmo salar)

Norwegian salmon, Scottish salmon, Atlantiese salm

A number of salmon farms in Norway have been certified by Aquaculture Stewardship Council as ecologically sustainable. A detailed list of certified farms is available on the ASC website.

1. What is it?

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are predatory fish that spend the first part of their lives in freshwater streams before migrating out to the ocean as adults and return to their streams for spawning. Norway is the leading producer of Atlantic salmon in the world.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Atlantic salmon are farmed in special cages in Norway. These open cages may affect the environment as they discharge directly into the sea leading to the accumulation of waste on the sea floor and an increase in the concentration of chemical contaminants. Feed is considered to be traceable. There is also a high risk of fish escaping which could result in the spreading of disease and altering the gene pool of the wild salmon population.

3. Where is it from?

Atlantic salmon are found in the northern Atlantic Ocean (FAO 27) and in rivers (FAO 5) that flow into the north Atlantic and (due to human introduction) the north Pacific area. They are farmed in Norway and imported into South Africa. Management is considered to be largely effective. Norway has strict bio security regulations that are part of the various regulations in the country. There have been no incidents of human rights violations or formal land/water use complaints. However there have been several newspaper reports criticizing the expansion of aquaculture activities along with the associated impact of waste and nutrient discharge into the surrounding ecosystem.