Salmon farms destroying wild salmon populations

February 13, 2008

Salmon farming operations have reduced wild salmon populations by up to 70 per cent in several areas around the world and are threatening the future of the endangered stocks, according a new scientific study.

The research by two Canadian marine biologists showed dramatic declines in the abundance of wild salmon populations whose migration takes them past salmon farms in Canada, Ireland and Scotland.

“Our estimates are that they reduced the survival of wild populations by more than half,” Jennifer Ford, lead author of the study published Monday in the Public Library of Science journal, said in Halifax.

“Less than half of the juvenile salmon from those populations that would have survived to come back and reproduce actually come back because they’re killed by some mechanism that has to do with salmon farming.”

The authors, including the late Halifax biologist Ransom Myers, claim the study is the first of its kind to take an international view of stock sizes in countries that have significant salmon aquaculture industries.


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