Why is salmon farming important to Canada?

Canada is a world leader in salmon farming; with the longest coastline of any country on Earth, we also have the greatest aquaculture opportunity in the world. As the global population continues to grow, Canada is in a unique position to provide salmon to the world in a sustainable way that creates economic growth in coastal communities and contributes to Canada’s goals to reduce climate impacts, protect our oceans and wild salmon, and provide a safe, secure food source for Canadians.

How does salmon benefit my health?

Salmon is Canada’s choice when it comes to fish – and for good reason. It is one of the healthiest forms of protein available, benefiting cardiovascular health and cognitive function, lessening inflammation, improving cholesterol, and even helping to improve bone and skin health as we age. Salmon is regarded by many as a superfood that is a good source of Vitamin D & B and Omega-3s. It is a recommended protein in Canada’s New Food Guide.

Please tell me about your food safety standards.

Canadian salmon farmers are leaders when it comes to food safety. Canada has some of the world’s most rigorous and trusted regulatory standards. Salmon farmers are directed to follow mandatory fish health management guidelines that are set by the Government of Canada and the provinces. Salmon farmers also rely on expert science and innovative technology, as well as in-house veterinarians and biologists who actively monitor and maintain best practices around fish health management.

What is the difference between wild and farm-raised salmon?

The biggest difference between farm-raised and wild salmon is that they are typically a different species. Wild-caught salmon may be one of five different Pacific species, including Sockeye, Pink, Coho, Chinook, and Chum; farm-raised salmon is typically the Atlantic species, with some production of Pacific Chinook salmon. With farm-raised salmon, however, you have the benefit of it being fresh and available year-round. In every other major respect, farm-raised and wild salmon are the same, and all very healthy for you.

Do salmon farms affect wild salmon?

Peer-reviewed science on the subject maintains that any risk is low. Salmon farmers follow strict regulations set out by the federal and provincial governments – amongst the most rigorous regulatory standards in the world, designed to ensure limited impact of ocean farms on wild salmon and to limit any interactions between wild and farmed salmon.

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On June 22, 2022, the Government of Canada renewed BC salmon farming licenses while starting talks on a transition from ocean farms. What does this mean for the future?

Salmon farmers welcome the decision which puts a formal consultation process in place to discuss the future of ocean farms in BC. This framework will enable salmon farmers to present the science that underpins ocean farms. We will also share our plans for a growing and sustainable Blue Economy in BC and beyond. It is important to note that in the Honourable Joyce Murray’s (federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans) comments post  announcement that she is open-minded that a transition could include ocean and land farming. We look forward to working with other stakeholders throughout this process to find solutions that protect and restore our oceans and coasts as we continue to grow such an important industry for Canada.

A book titled ‘Salmon Wars’ claims ocean-based farms are not a sustainable solution. What is your perspective?

We have reviewed the book and are disappointed the authors chose to ignore peer-reviewed scientific evidence in favour of outdated and unproven claims to support their opinion. Ocean-based salmon farming is a highly responsible and innovative method of providing safe, secure and sustainable food for Canadians and the world. A recent review of the best practices and science that guide salmon farmers across North America can be downloaded here.

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