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June 10th, 2008
Info-Graphic: A Guide to Sushi Fish: Salmon

SalmonMost salmon in U.S. supermarkets and restaurants is labeled “Atlantic salmon,” and comes from salmon farms in Canada or Chile. Wild Atlantic salmon are caught in northern Europe, but in small numbers. Salmon farming techniques, meanwhile, can be quite harmful to the environment. Farmed salmon are raised in open pens and cages in coastal areas and produce a great deal of waste that is then released directly into the ocean — where parasites and disease may be spread to wild fish species. Also, when farmed salmon escape their cages, they compete for food and spawning grounds with wild salmon. What’s more, for every pound of salmon raised, three pounds of fish are required to feed the farmed salmon. And there are health concerns as well. Due to the use of pesticides and antibiotics to control disease among the fish, farmed salmon may have chemical residue. Adults, then, are advised to eat less than one meal of farmed salmon per month. As an alternative, choose wild salmon. Wild-caught salmon from California, Oregon, or Washington are good alternatives, however, your best choice is wild salmon from Alaska. The American salmon fisheries are all well-maintained, but there are still concerns about the long-term health of salmon populations in California, Oregon, and Washington.

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