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A Hidden Danger: Marine Farmed Salmon

UK - The soaring demand for salmon has led to a rapid expansion in marine farming, but the damaging effect that this has on the environment is a rarely discussed issue.

One million people eat salmon every day, but until now little attention has been paid to its provenance, reports Martin Hickman for the Independent. People know about the threat to cod posed by overfishing, or how tuna trawlers also scoop up dolphins. But salmon? Is it farmed or wild; kind or cruel; sustainable or environmentally damaging?

According to Mr Hicks, salmon is actually one of the hidden problems in the meat and fish business, say environmentalists and animal welfare campaigners.

Salmon are naturally programmed to swim hundreds of miles, moving downstream from their birthplaces in British rivers to the open ocean, and then back – leaping upstream in the rivers – to spawn.

In fish farms, their complex life cycle is artificially managed by man. Despite their extraordinary journey in the open sea, the fish are kept in 100-ft wide pens. Some escape and infect their wild cousins with lice.

View the Independent story by clicking here.