Salmon industry can grow without depleting marine ingredients

Doom and gloom projections that salmon aquaculture will spell the end of the wild fish populations may be a tad too alarmist, suggests a new research from Australia.

Salmon farming will continue to grow to 2100 “through the judicious use of finite marine ingredients;” by increasing use of byproducts from fishing and aquaculture; and by increasing use of fish meal and fish oil alternatives, said the study.

On the latter, the researchers said improvements in technology will make fish meal and fish oil alternatives more cost-effective and therefore allow their greater use in feed in the future.

The researchers based their analysis on the expected growth projections of between 2 to 3 percent until 2030 among the main salmon producing countries: between 2-6 percent growth seen for Norway and Chile; no significant growth seen for Scotland; and a growth of 16 percent seen for Australia, Iceland, China and Russia.

The salmon industry can maintain the use of 400,000 tons of fish oil without additional pressure on the levels of available fish oil, nor will there be a greater need to exploit pelagic fish fisheries, they said.

In-depth findings of the study, titled “The judicious use of finite marine resources can sustain Atlantic salmon (salmo salar) aquaculture to 2100 and beyond” can be found in Nature Food this month. The study was authored by Rocker, M.M., Mock, T.S., Turchini, G.M. et al.


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