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'Natural' salmon farm on Bainbridge lands Whole Foods deal

US - The sea gulls know it's feeding time, even though the brown food pellets flying their way aren't meant for them. At an offshore salmon farm here, the fish dine on a mixture of anchovy, herring, wheat, soybeans and corn. They receive no hormones, antibiotics or steroids. They aren't genetically engineered. They swim in pens filled with one-half to two-thirds the number of salmon in typical Canadian farms.

Double nets keep salmon in and sea predators out. Another net protects the top of the pens, giving gulls a place to perch as they try to catch the pellets that are blown in by a rotating feeder machine.

American Gold Seafood bills itself as the only farm raising "natural" salmon in the United States, a designation that is subjective, since no authority confers such status.

But the company's practices and product were enough for it to snag the Whole Foods account last year, even though Northwest shoppers wouldn't know it: The upscale grocer doesn't carry the locally raised fish in its Seattle and Portland stores, citing poor public response to salmon not caught in the wild.

Source: SeattlePI

the Fish Site Editor

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