Image: boyhood home of a so-called "wild" salmon?
Blogfish has noted previously that Alaska's so-called wild salmon include some fish that are raised for part of their lives in fish farms called "hatcheries." These fish live for up to half of their lives in farms, before being released into the ocean. When caught and sold, half-farmed fish are called "wild."
The problem is worst for less-preferred species like pink salmon and chum salmon, but even some sockeye and a very few chinook (king) salmon begin their life in hatcheries (fish farms).
Just this week, a letter to the editor of the copyrighted and subscription news service Intrafish has a scathing critique and a new term that just might begin to stick (excerpt below). Fish farmer Neil Sims of Kona Blue refers to Alaska's hatchery fish as "half-farmed" and writes about the hypocrisy of Alaska's opposition to fully-farmed fish, while simultaneously half-farming huge numbers of salmon.
This is an interesting take on the wild salmon vs. farmed salmon debate. The best answer is that we need 3 categories, wild, hatchery, and farmed salmon. But I don't look to Alaska for progress on this issue.
Alaska's half-farmed salmon are a waste of resourcesHope you don't mind me posting this excerpt, Intrafish Tweet
From: Neil Sims
President, Kona Blue Water Farms, LLC
John Fiorillo had a “chuckle” over Alaska’s opposition to offshore aquaculture , when he argued – quite soundly – that Alaska is already the world’s biggest offshore aquaculture program, because of the massive salmon stock enhancement effort.
how does Alaska’s half-farmed salmon measure up...
The easy answer is to imagine the furor if there were 58 million farmed fish escapees each year! But when they are deliberately allowed to escape (i.e. released) into the ocean, Alaska’s hatchery-reared stocks compete with truly wild fish for prey and other resources...