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'LICE from farmed fish KILL wild SALMON'

Many studies have confirmed the impact of sea lice infestations which build up on caged salmon. The most recent three country study is Impact of parasites on salmon recruitment in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. The previous 2004 – 2007 multi national study Sustainable management of interactions between aquaculture and wild salmonid fish’ [summary]. The recommendation that open net salmon cages not be placed within 20 kilometers of salmon rivers was first made by the Sea Trout working group in 1994 but has never been implemented. A good current summary of the issues and research is provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland in their submission on the proposed Galway Bay mega salmon farm.

ESCAPES from fish farms alter wild salmon GENETICS

We thus demonstrate that interaction of farm with wild salmon results in lowered fitness, with repeated escapes causing cumulative fitness depression and potentially an extinction vortex in vulnerable populations.From Fitness reduction and potential extinction of wild populations of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, as a result of interactions with escaped farm salmon
‘…significant alteration of the genetic integrity of the native population, including possible loss of adaptation to wild conditions’ From: Temporal change in genetic integrity suggests loss of local adaptation in a wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) population following introgression by farmed escapees
Using a regression model based on a 37-year study of wild and sea ranched Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) spawning together in the wild, we show that the escape of captive bred animals into the wild can substantially depress recruitment and more specifically disrupt the capacity of natural populations to adapt to higher winter water temperatures associated with climate variability. From: Impact of naturally spawning captive-bred Atlantic salmon on wild populations: depressed recruitment and increased risk of climate-mediated extinction


Farmed salmon is nutritionally less valuable than wild salmon as its flesh has an increased fat content but less of the beneficial fat omega 3. Pollutants such as PCBs and dioxins make their way into the ocean and are absorbed by marine life. The pollutants accumulate in fat and is concentrated in the fish oil used for the salmon feed. Studies have demonstrated the elevated contamination and subsequent cancer and non-cancer health risks from farmed salmon over wild salmon and of Northern European farmed salmon over Pacific salmon. “The most stringent recommendation, for farmed salmon from northern Europe, was for consumption of at most one meal every 5 months in order to not exceed an elevated risk of cancer of more than 1 in 100,000. Farmed salmon from North and South America triggered advisories of between 0.4 and one meal per month" From Elsevier Environmental Research"
Similar studies:
Institute of health and the Environment from the University at Albany
US National Library of Medicine


One salmon caught in an Irish river is worth €423 to the local economy. Angling is worth €230m annually to the national economy. [Hotel Federation of Ireland/Inland Fisheries Ireland] A recent study (July 2013)commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland estimates the Total direct expenditure on recreational angling in 2012 to be €555 million. Direct expenditure of recreational angling by out-of-state anglers is estimated at €121 million. With indirect and induced impacts, the overall impact of recreational angling is estimated at approximately €755 million. Total tourist angling expenditure was estimated at approximately €280 million. Recreational angling is estimated to support approximately 10,000 jobs.


It was agreed in the national development plan 2007 – 2013 seafood program not to expand Ireland’s salmon production because of objections from Government bodies. The moratorium was confirmed in July 2010 but in December 2011 the Minister for Agriculture announced the doubling of Irish production with his agency BIM given extra funding for the project.


To understand the impacts of salmon farms we recommend the IMPACTS section of the Save Bantry Bay website. It contains an explanation of the impacts with basic references. Their LINKS page provides links to scientific peer reviewed published studies that support the principle concerns.

Other sites:


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