Salmon aquaculture: A Literature Review

Salmon aquaculture: A Literature Review

The status of Salmon aquaculture

            It has been noted that there is an increased dependent on source of proteins that come from sea food. This has there necessitated the increase production of these products and this has been done through intensive aquaculture. A typical example is intensive salmon aquaculture which has great ecological and health impact on the wild fish stock.  With an increased growth of aquaculture to meet the demand of salmon (Pomeroy et al., 2008), it is only expected that the impacts of salmon aquaculture on wild fish stock will only increase. Accord WWF (2011), salmon is a very valuable commodity in United State of America, Japan and even Europe. It is approximated that almost 60% of the salmon that is consumed world is from the aquaculture of salmon. Because of this, it has been noted that there negative impacts that is brought by intensive salmon aquaculture such as the degradation of the ecosystem, outbreak of diseases, interbreeding and competition.

Salmon aquaculture in Chile

            Chile is one the high producers of salmon worldwide. This is aided by the fact it is located Southern Hemisphere is a great advantage in the production of salmon through aquaculture as stated by Barton & Floysand (2010). Industrial salmon aquaculture is practiced by a number of communities in Chile. This makes Chile the best site for carrying out evaluation of ecological and health impact of intensive salmon aquaculture on the wild Atlantic salmon.

The ecological and health impact of aquaculture

According to Yang et al. (2003), pen-fish culture in Lake Taihu resulted to an estimated nitrogen and phosphorous load in the environment of 141 kg per 1t fish. It was also observed that there was increased nutrient loading generally which lead to a rapid growth of phytoplankton and bacteria. There was also an increase of heterotrophic bacteria abundance from three to fourfold. Other observations that were made with this regard according to Li (2004) was141, 87.5 surface sediment increase in organic carbon, total organic nitrogen and total nitrogen. This took place after a period of two years of culturing.

It has been established that disease outbreak is more common in aquaculture of compared to wild conditions. This is attributed to factors such as stocking density which is high, and increased fish stress levels. Aquaculture therefore plays a great role in multiplication of diseases. The wild fish which have escaped can therefore play a great role in the transmission of diseases by acting as vectors (Carss, 1990).  An example is the spread of pathogens associated with viral diseases which are highly contagious such as ISA which according to Buschmann et al. (2009) can affect wild species. A number of researches has reported chemical waste, biological and nutrient loading on ecology as a result of intensive salmon aquaculture. The great threat that intensive salmon aquaculture pose to marine environment is the introduction of exotic pathogens. The resulting infection greatly affects the species which are native. This introduction of the exotic pathogens is always by the commercial species which manages to move back into the wild environment (marine ecosystem). However, there is a gap that exists and the relationship between intensity salmon aquaculture and the ecological and health impact of the same wild Atlantic salmon has never been established. This is what this paper intends to do.



Barton, J. R., & Floysand, A. (2010). The political ecology of Chilean salmon aquaculture 1982-  2010. New York: Allen and Unwin.

Buschmann, A. H., Cabello, F., Young, K., Carvajal, J., Varela, D. A., & Henríquez, L. (2009). Salmon aquaculture and coastal ecosystem health in Chile: analysis of regulations, environmental impacts and bioremediation systems. Ocean & Coastal Management, 52(5), 243-249.

Carss, D.N. (1990). Concentrations of wild and escaped fishes immediately adjacent to

fish farm cages. Aquaculture 90: 29-40.

Li, W. (2004). Tendency and reason for evolution toward mash in the East Taihu. In: Qin B, Hu   W, Chen W (eds), Process and Mechanism of Environmental Changes of Lake Taihu. Science Press, Beijing, pp 33–51.

Pomeroy, R., Bravo-Ureta, B. E., Solis, D., & Johnston, R. J. (2008).  Bioeconomic modelling      and salmon aquaculture: an overview of the literature. Int. J. Environ. Pollut. 33: 485–  500.

WWF. (2011)- Aquaculture – Salmon.” World Wildlife Fund – Wildlife Conservation,          Endangered Species. Retrieved from  

Yang, Z.F., Chen, L.Q., Zhou, Z.L., Chen, Y., & Wu, L.K. (2003). Effects of fishery        development on water environment and its countermeasures in Taihu Lake. Chinese           Journal of Eco-Agriculture 11, 156–158.








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