Wild vs Farmed Salmon

Our Products: Our salmon products use only 100% Wild Pacific Salmon. The Pacific salmon is most famous for its lifecycle; born in tiny streams far from the sea, the Pacific salmon spends the first part of its life in fresh water, then migrates down streams to rivers and spends most of its adult life in the open ocean. Then it returns to its birthplace to spawn and die. Consequently, the salmon's flesh is rich in oils that are picked up during its life in the ocean. That oil helps give the salmon the energy for the return journey upriver.

Nutritional Differences: Since farm-raised fish do not spend their lives vigorously swimming the ocean and then migrating up the rivers, they are much fattier than their Wild counterparts. However, the proportion of beneficial Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is reduced in farmed salmon when compared to Wild Salmon (Bell & Paone, 2002). Also due to the feedlot conditions of aquafarming, farm-raised fish are doused with antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than their wild kin. Another concern that has arose relates to the 2007 pet food recall, where the contaminated wheat gluten was mixed into fish feed that was fed to farmed fish that was raised for human consumption.

Salmon Quality: The trademark color of Wild Salmon naturally occurs from carotenoids, such as astaxanthin (found in 90% of salmon in the wild). The carotenoids are obtained from their diet of marine microalgae. It is this microalgae that is actually used to produce pure DHA for use in human infant formula. Besides providing color, salmon can covert astaxanthin to vitamin A, an essential nutrient in reproduction, growth and immunity. On the other hand, the flesh color of farmed salmon is an unappetizing dull, grey color but to overcome this, the processed food pellets fed to them are supplemented with an additive. Pharmaceutical company, Hoffman-La Roche manufactures this synthetic pigment and also distributes its trademarked “SalmoFan”, a tool used to determine the shade of pink desired for the farmed salmon (the corresponding level of colorance is added to the feed).

Salmon farmers can choose the color of their salmon, using the “SalmoFan”.

Farmed Salmon: Commercially the Wild Atlantic Salmon fishery is non- existent due to extensive habitat damage along with overfishing to the point where wild fish accounts for only 0.5% of the Atlantic salmon available in the world fish markets. The rest is farmed, for the most part from aquaculture found in the East Coast of North America, in northern Europe including the British Isles, Ireland, Iceland and Scandinavia and as far south as Portugal. Farm salmon are fed pellets of ground up fishmeal and oils to make them grow quickly and additives used to give the flesh of farmed-raised fresh salmon their familiar pinkish hue (as noted above). It is also estimated that 98 percent of the 300 million Atlantic salmon in the world are farmed fish (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/salmon).

In regards to the farmed fish, there are many companies now that are misleading consumers by stating their products use “fresh” or “real” salmon and are 100% natural with no additives or preservatives but yet are using farmed salmon. One example is a manufacturer in South America that claims their products use only 100% natural Chilean salmon, yet Wild Pacific Salmon is not native to Chile let alone the East Coast. Another point to be noted is that there are approximately 60 national and foreign companies operating in Chile, which has made it the second largest exporter of farmed salmon after Norway.