Do the benefits of salmon farming outweigh any detrimental effects?
Worldwide, the salmon farming industry has witnessed extraordinary growth since the 1980’s with Chile, Canada, Norway and UK emerging as some of the largest producers (Eagle et al, 2004). Salmon farming is the process of harvesting salmon in cages or pens, usually offshore, as opposed to traditional capture fisheries.The economic and food production benefits of salmon farming (Salmo salar) will first be discussed. However there are many detrimental effects of salmon farming and this essay will predominantly take the position that the detrimental effects of salmon farming are far greater than the economic and food provision benefits. This will done by primarily focusing on the impact upon wild salmon stocks, as well as a brief overview of a few more general ecological impacts. The main benefits of salmon farming are economic related. Salmon farming provides employment to people in isolated areas where employment is not as easy to find, such as the Highlands of Scotland. It can also benefit the local economies – between 2006 and 2011, £35.7 million of capital investment was invested by SSPO (Scottish salmon producers organisation) companies, in Argyll and Bute alone. Furthermore, 2124 people were directly employed by salmon farming in Scotland (SSPO, 2012). In terms of providing food for people, salmon farming as an intensive farming system is efficient. Improving food security and reducing world hunger is a key component of the FAOs visions for the future and aquaculture looks likely to play a key role in meeting future demand for food. When compared to capture salmon fisheries, salmon farming is more predictable and greater control of production quantity is possible. In 2012, capture fisheries produced 90.6 million tonnes, while aquaculture produced 66.3 million tonnes ( FAO,2013). However a The escape of farmed salmon into seas and rivers are common in the aquaculture industry and there...
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