The following letter was submitted to the Editor of the Washington Post by Grant Warkentin on October 01, 2013. Re: "Salmon farming isn't sustainable yet,"
The letter by Andrew Sharpless and Alex Muñoz deliberately muddies the
waters in the discussion about salmon farming, and shows that the two CEOs
of Oceana are stuck in the past.
They argue that farmed salmon are not sustainable because they are fed wild
fish, and suggest increasing wild stock abundance. How? By increasing
hatchery outputs, which will compete with truly wild fish?
And what do they think wild salmon eat? How could these two CEOs ignore
the concept of trophic levels taught by Dr. Daniel Pauly, member of their
own Oceana board?
The ocean food chain is divided into trophic levels, which increase by a
factor of 10 each level. That means wild salmon eat 10 times their weight
in small wild fish. Our farmed salmon currently eat only 1.1 times their
own weight in small wild fish, and that number is decreasing.
Sharpless and Muñoz ignore this fact, and the many advances made in
aquaculture over the past decade which have made this possible. They are
stuck in the past and refuse to ignore how the evolution of salmon farming
is making it one of the most sustainable forms of food production