(U.S. Farmed in Tank Systems)
U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon is a "Best Choice" due to the reduced risk of escaped fish and the spread of pollution and disease to the surrounding environment. However, consumers should "Avoid" farmed salmon raised in open net pens.
Coho is one of the five salmon species native to the North Pacific. Like other species of salmon, coho can be wild-caught or farmed. Currently, the majority of farmed coho salmon is raised in open net pens and gets an "Avoid" ranking. However, the small percentage of coho salmon that's farmed in inland tanks in the U.S. is a "Best Choice." All salmon is known as sake when prepared for sushi.
Most salmon farms raise their fish in open net pens that don't offer a barrier or protection to the surrounding environment. As a result, fish waste, chemicals and other pollution, disease, parasites and even the farmed fish themselves escape the farm to impact the local environment and the wild fish that live there.
Closed systems contain the fish and water within the farm rather than releasing them into the environment. In addition, the use of disease-free source water and strict security protocols minimize the spread of disease from farms to the wild. For these reasons, closed systems impact the environment less than open net pens.
All farmed salmon rely on wild-caught fish - in the form of fishmeal or fish oil - for food. U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon currently require much less wild fish in their feed than do other farmed salmon.
Thanks to these innovations, U.S. farmed freshwater coho salmon is a "Best Choice," while traditional farmed salmon is ranked as "Avoid."