Future of Salmon
Fisheries Bioengineering Symposium: American Fisheries Society Symposium 10
Colt J;White RJ;
American Fisheries Society
World harvest of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. and Salmo salar) still comes mostly from naturally produced fish, but the contribution from aquaculture is substantial and continues to grow rapidly. There is a strong likelihood that aquaculture production will exceed natural production before the year 2000. Two types of aquaculture production, 'ranching' and 'farming,' are differentiated. Ranched salmon are released as juveniles into natural waters and harvested as maturing adults by sport and commercial fishers or at recapture facilities. Farmed salmon are held in captivity to harvest size. Ranching contributes a much larger biomass of salmon to today's world markets than farming, but the value of farmed salmon relative to ranched salmon is much greater than production levels indicate because species produced by farming are mostly of higher value than species produced by ranching. Innovations in technology show promise for continued reduction in cost of producing ranched and farmed salmon. Ranching and farming applications are becoming more diversified because of innovations. Salmon are expected to become more price-competitive with other types of animal protein. Recognized advantages for human health make farmed and ranched salmon attractive commodities for international trade. Several environmental and social issues have emerged as a consequences of rapid growth of salmon aquaculture. Institutional barriers to salmon aquaculture typically result because environmental impacts have adverse implications for production and management of natural stocks of salmon. Other factors contributing to policies adverse to growth of aquaculture include concerns of commercial salmon fishers over rights to harvest stocks and competition for markets.