(Worldwide Except U.S. Farmed in Tank Systems, Farmed including Atlantic)
There are many environmental problems related to farming Atlantic salmon, which means most are ranked "Avoid." However, efforts to reduce some of these environmental impacts have been successful.
Farmed Salmon, Sake
The majority of salmon farmed today are Atlantic salmon. A small quantity of Pacific salmon - Chinook and coho - is also farmed. Salmon is known as sake when prepared for sushi.
Environmental Defense Fund has issued a health advisory for farmed salmon due to high levels of PCBs.
One of the biggest concerns is the amount of food required to raise farmed salmon. It generally takes three pounds of wild fish to grow one pound of farmed salmon. The environmental impact of salmon farming is still increasing as global production continues to rise.
Most salmon are farmed in open pens and cages in coastal waters. Waste from these farms is released directly into the ocean. Parasites and diseases from farmed salmon can spread to wild fish swimming near the farms and escaping farmed salmon can harm wild populations. As a result, most salmon farmed in ocean net pens get an "Avoid" ranking. However, some salmon farmers are making changes to improve their practices.
Look for wild-caught salmon, clearly labeled U.S.-farmed freshwater coho salmon or Verlasso® salmon. For now, "Avoid" most farmed Atlantic salmon.