A Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and a former private investigator dive deep into the murky waters of the international salmon farming industry, exposing the unappetizing truth about a fish that is not as good for you as you have been told.
This excellent book is buoyed by deft portraits of the important players on either side of the nets—poignantly so in regard to some honest scientists whose careers were derailed by industry attacks—and its final chapters describe some hopeful initiatives now in progress: for example, substituting insect larvae, algae oil, domesticated animal by-products, etc. for the 'fish' in fish meal...Better yet, new technology is making it possible to grow salmon in closed tanks on land, where waste can be filtered out and treated, diseases and parasites kept outside, and escape becomes impossible.
Leaping and struggling against the current, dodging hungry bears, mature salmon spawn where they themselves hatched, and then they die...That’s the scene hungry shoppers imagine when they buy slabs of glowing pink fish at the local supermarket...But the reality of how that fish actually reached the table contradicts raw nature...Most supermarket salmon has been raised in virtual captivity in fish farms, fed a processed diet, and then harvested, as many as a fifth of them dying before maturity...Journalists and Nova Scotia residents, husband-and-wife coauthors Collins and Frantz have investigated the provenance of Atlantic salmon, now being raised on a grand scale.
As the authors show, the majority of salmon that reach restaurant or dinner tables are raised in conditions that are harsh, unsanitary, and negatively impact the environment: millions of salmon are reared in cages on massive aquafarms, which pollute underlying seabeds with a layer of slime from 'excess feed, chemical residue, and fecal matter' that can reach nearly three feet thick...Scientists, meanwhile, have been trying to sound the alarm about the health risks associated with eating farmed salmon, only to be thwarted by the industry’s 'campaign to discredit the criticism'...The authors round things out with suggestions that the USDA, which lacks 'standards for what constitutes ‘organic’ salmon,' ought to have some, and should 'ramp up oversight'...This stellar investigation is the rare one that has the power to impact policymakers and consumers alike.