Salmon is marketed as a healthy choice.
But the reality of farmed salmon is very different — do you really know what you’re eating?
Tasmania is the home of Australian farmed salmon, including 'Atlantic salmon', and there are big problems with lack of transparency in the industry.
The industry dumps at least 10.6 million kilograms of salmon poo in our oceans every year. Currently, laws allow 100% of marine life on the seafloor under salmon pens to die and some salmon are farmed over mounds of feces, covered in bacteria. Two people died recently from eating farmed salmon contaminated with listeria bacteria.
The industry refuses to tell customers the total amount of antibiotics they use. And most people don't know that the industry uses genetically altered salmon.
That is why Environment Tasmania has produced a Tasmanian Salmon Consumer Guide. The guide rates salmon companies on their impact on Tasmania's oceans, marine life, animal welfare and health.
What do the ratings show? All three of the big companies farming salmon in Tasmania’s oceans are rated RED. The big supermarkets buy their Tasmanian salmon from these companies, so the Coles brand Tasmanian salmon and Woolworths brand Tasmanian salmon are also rated RED. See the graphic below for details, as well as some better eating options.
Want to eat more sustainable seafood? Our friends at the Australian Marine Conservation Society suggest more sustainable fish options include wild-caught Australian Salmon, Snapper, Dusky Flathead, Yellowfin Bream, or farmed Barramundi or Cobia. Coles also now sells wild-caught Alaskan Salmon fillets imported by John West, but obviously it's better to buy local if you can.