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The Effects Of Salmon Farming On The Salmon Population Essay

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Introduction

Fish, one of our most important sources of high-quality protein, provides some 16% of the animal protein consumed by the world’s population, (Food & Agriculture Organization, FAO, of the United Nations, 1997). Our responses towards a growing demand for fish led to a boom in the salmon farming industry (Naylor, et al., 1998). Unfortunately, the consequences of salmon farming outweigh the value that comes with it. Even though salmon farming is steadily becoming more sustainable, salmon farming is not a suitable and environmentally sound way of producing food due to the negative issues salmon farming has caused in the environment, the salmon population, and the health of humans.

Salmon farming effects to wild salmon population
Scientists of various fields have found that escaped salmon from fisheries have negatively impacted the salmon population. The gradual increase of salmon farming has led to a higher rate of escaped salmon reaching local ecosystems. As farmed salmon escape—through weather events, poor containment, careless handling, etc.—the local ecology changes dramatically. In McGinnity’s study (2003), farmed salmon have been found to breed poorly and have difficulty surviving in comparison to wild salmon. The study was carried out in Western Ireland and highlighted the behavioral differences between wild salmon against various generations of hybrid salmon. It was found that farmed salmon and hybrid salmon (various mixed farmed-wild breeds) carry the
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