The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) was recently quoted as stating, “The only truly wild salmon is one that hatched from an egg in a gravel bed of a river.” Good for WWF to use its “outside voice”!
According to Seafood Intelligence dot com, this belief is echoed by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
This was in response to a new study published by Oregon State University. The study determined that hatchery raised steelhead that were born from two hatchery raised fish could be significantly less productive than a steelhead born of two wild parents or even one of each.
We wonder if anyone involved in the Alaska salmon industry will bother to read the study? Alaska introduces 1.5 billion salmon into the Pacific Ocean each year – over 40% of the salmon caught in Alaska is a hatchery raised salmon. We’re not going to bother to do the math, but we’re quite sure the odds are that there’s quite a bit of “wife swapping” going on in Alaska (we’re only talking salmon here people) and that will certainly have a serious affect on the gene pool.
“The message should be clear’”, Oregon researchers claim, “Captive breeding for reintroduction or supplementation can have a serious, long-term downside…”
Hmmmm, so the best thing may be to actually keep the farmed salmon captive for their entire lifecycle thus preventing them from intermingling with wild salmon. Maybe it should be called “salmon farming”. What a great idea!