Fish Radio
Global fish consumption soars; so does antibiotics use in farmed salmon
July 12, 2016

Farmed salmon killed by ISA virus Credit:

Farmed salmon killed by ISA virus


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Global fish consumption soars – so do additives in farmed salmon. More after this –

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Global fish consumption has hit a record high, topping 44 pounds per person annually for the first time. It is the result of improved and expanding aquaculture and reduced waste, according to the UN’s latest State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture report. (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report ).

More fish products also are being used for human food rather than being diverted to animal fees – 87 percent, compared to 67 percent in the 1960s.

The boost is good news for the planet, the report says, because  fisheries have a  much smaller footprint than other prime sources of animal protein.  Fish is six times more efficient at converting feed than cattle, and four times more efficient than pork.

Another first- people are now consuming more farmed fish than wild-caught fish. In 2014, a total of 580 species were farmed around the world.

In the U.S., all seafoods must be labeled as farmed or wild, and their country of origin. If it’s salmon from Chile, the biggest importer to the U.S., be warned that according to the National Service of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Chile used more than 1.2 million pounds of antibiotics last year to ward off a fish virus  that has crippled the industry. That prompted Costco, the nation’s largest buyer of farmed salmon, to shun fish from Chile.

To make matters worse, Intrafish reports that 50 Chilean salmon companies refused to disclose the amount and type of antibiotics they used, saying “such disclosure would threaten their business competitiveness.”

By comparison, Norway, the world’s biggest producer of farmed salmon, used 2,100 pounds of antibiotics, primarily for sea lice problems.   Bloomberg reports that Norway’s largest grower – Marine Harvest – wants to start farming salmon inside a huge cargo ship rather than at sea to further, reduce antiobiotics.

A  survey last year by global market researcher Mintel found that three-quarters of US consumers prefer ‘free from’ foods , meaning free from antibiotics, preservatives, additives and GMOs.

Of course, choosing wild fish is the safest bet. Otherwise, read those labels.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.