Welfare Issues in Farmed Atlantic Salmon

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A farmed Salmon which is infested with Sea Lice. Photo: Screenshot from ‘Panorama: Salmon Fishing Exposed’, BBC

Summary

Why salmon?

Can salmon feel pain?

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A 16-net open-net farm, home to around 3 million salmon. Photo: Inside Scottish Salmon Feedlots

Lifecycle and mortality

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A recirculating aquaculture system, of the type used to mature juvenile salmon, Photo: Clearspan

Stocking density

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Stocking density in the upper layer of a sea cage in Norway. Photo: Patagonia, still from Artifishal

Dissolved oxygen

Sea lice

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A salmon covered in sea lice and showing significant descaling. Photo: Corin Smith

‘Cleaner’ fish

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Ballan Wrasse, a common cleaner fish species. Photo: Deviantart

Ecosystem-level risks

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A farmed salmon with spinal deformities. Photo: Patagonia, still from Artifishal

Other animals in the food pyramid

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Atlantic Herring, one of many wild fish caught to be fed to Salmon. ⅓ of all fish caught are used as animal feed. Photo: Marcel Painchaud

Welfare at slaughter

Next steps in salmon welfare

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An ocean-phase sockeye salmon, at approximately commercial harvest weight. Photo: Barbara Jackson

About the author

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Traditional storyteller, animal ethicist, and effective altruist based in the Lake District, England. @MDBorthwick

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