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Fish farm
Photo: Harald Tørresen
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Expression of opinion on salmon farming

Pure Salmon Campaign is currently promoting a film entitled Farmed Salmon Exposed”. The Institute of Marine Research has viewed the film and come to the conclusion that it constitutes an expression of the political views of Pure Salmon Campaign.

By Ole Torrissen

The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research is critical of the filmmakers’use of scientific data. It verges on the unethical in that the film gives only extracts of articles that seemingly lend credence to their views, while omitting to point out that these extracts are not representative of the full picture.

For some years, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research has been calling on the fish farming industry to do much more to limit the environmental impact of its activities. This applies in particular to three main areas:

  • Escaped fish and genetic influence
  • Spread of disease and parasites
  • Nutrient salts and fertilisation

It is important to keep in mind that over 1.4 million tonnes of farmed salmon are produced worldwide annually. This is the most resource friendly and environmentally friendly form of meat production practiced today.

All industries involve interplay between government regulations and technological developments within the industry. Broadly speaking, the government must set the limits for what is acceptable in terms of environmental impact and the industry is responsible for developing the technologies that make production feasible under these conditions. The principal reason why Chile has ended up in such problems is, as the film shows, that government measures have been too ineffective insofar as they have failed to set the necessary limits.