Farmed Salmon Is Getting Worse

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • While fishmeal and fish oil once made up about 90% of farmed Norwegian salmon feed, research suggests that by 2016, only 10% of the fat in farmed salmon feed was marine-based
  • High levels of vegetable oils, including rapeseed, or canola, are now used instead, which have had dramatic consequences for the salmon
  • Significant differences were seen in cultured salmon fat cells depending on the type of fatty acid they were exposed to, including changes in the amount of mitochondria — the cells’ powerhouses — and alterations in the release of fatty acids during fasting
  • The findings also suggested that oleic acid, found in vegetable oil, may promote overweight and obesity in Atlantic salmon
  • An undercover investigation in Vietnam, India, and The Gambia revealed that the demand for fishmeal and fish oil used in the aquaculture industry is still fueling overfishing and putting intense pressure on wild fish stocks

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