Once you know the dangers of eating Atlantic salmon from open net farms compared to healthy, Wild salmon, the choice is clear. But knowing which is which isn't always easy. Ask your vendors or restaurants where they are sourcing their salmon and look out for words like Atlantic, Real, and Fresh. Even if it's local or appears "fresh", thawed out in the market, it can still come from a diseased fish farm. There aren't hardly any wild Atlantic salmon left so if it says Atlantic it is almost exclusively farmed. You can also tell by viewing the salmon yourself. Farmed salmon are fed an unnaturally high fat diet, which is apparent in the thick, white lines in the meat. The meat is also naturally a grey color; however, they are fed pellets with dye to resemble a salmon color, but are much more orange and pale than Wild salmon. Wild Sockeye salmon swim thousands of miles from rivers to the ocean and back so their flesh is lean, full of omegas, and a rich, deep red color from their natural diet.
Not only does farmed salmon pose a danger to the consumer, it is having critical effects on Wild salmon stocks, particularly in British Columbia. Thousands of farmed fish that are stuffed into small areas in open net fish farms carry and spread harmful diseases, which threatens not only Wild salmon, but ancient sea sponges, bears, orcas, sea lions, and humans.
Thankfully Alaska's shores remain fish-farm-free and the Wild salmon runs are sustainably managed, which protects this unique and delicate ecosystem. As consumers we have the power to "vote with our dollars" and choose to not support fish farms by only buying Wild Salmon. As fishermen Willbros has an immense responsibility to ensure that our own practices and those of the Bristol Bay industry remain sustainable and wild, the way it was intended. We also recognize our job to continue to share information and awareness about issues such as this so we, as a collective, can begin to create change.
Support Sustainable, Wild Fisheries! Choose Willbros Wild Sockeye Salmon! Ask for Alaska and share your knowledge!