Farmed salmon has become a staple of healthy and affordable diets around the world
By Samantha McLeod
The global salmon farming industry continues to evolve sustainably, producing 17.5 billion meals every year and creating 132,600 jobs in coastal communities around the world, says a new report
“Salmon farmers are growing even more healthy meals with a minimal environmental footprint, while increasing annual production and creating more jobs in coastal communities around the world,” says Trond Davidsen, President of the International Salmon Farmers Association
The International Salmon Farmers (ISFA) latest socio-economic report – Salmon Farming: Sustaining Communities and Feeding the World – found that global salmon farmers produce 17.5 billion meals every year from only .00008 per cent of the world’s oceans.
The report also shows the global salmon farming industry produces $15.4 billion (USD) worth of salmon each year, creates 132,600 direct and indirect jobs around the world and stimulates thousands more spin-off jobs and economic growth in a wide variety of other sectors.
“Today the world’s salmon farmers produce 2.5 million tonnes of salmon annually. Whether you are eating fresh salmon sushi, a grilled salmon fillet or smoked salmon, the odds are it has been farmed by a member of ISFA,” says Davidsen.
“Farmed salmon has become a staple of healthy and affordable diets around the world.”
The report outlines key statistics about the sustainability of salmon farming, the growing population and the need to find innovative ways to feed the world. It also includes overviews of the industry in every country where salmon is farmed. The ISFA’s inaugural socio-economic report in 2015 showed that salmon farmers globally produced 14.8 billion meals, produced $10 billion (USD) worth of salmon and created 121,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Davidsen said the future would include the evolution of land based salmon farming, and he referred to ambitious plans for land based facilities.
‘To my knowledge, there are no examples of successful land based salmon farms yet. I am not arguing against it, just stating facts, but it will happen, maybe not tomorrow or 10 years or 15 years from now, but it will happen eventually,’ he was quoted by Fish Update as saying.
Land based farms need to achieve a cost level in line or above market price – ‘if not bankruptcy will happen’.
B.C. is littered with failed attempts to grow either Pacific or Atlantic salmon in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) over the past 20 years, as pointed out by Business in Vancouver.
There are currently 116 marine finfish farms operating in BC. The total production of farm-raised salmon in B.C. has increased 8% since 2002.
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest valued seafood product, the province’s top agricultural export, and generates over $1.5-billion towards the B.C. economy, resulting in over 6,600 jobs.