Posted by: marineharvestcanada | July 28, 2008

Fish Farming Facts: Did you know?

1. Farmed Atlantic salmon are the most efficient converter of feed to edible protein.

Marine Harvest farmed Atlantic salmon achieve a Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) of around 1:1. That means for every kilogram of feed consumed, salmon will gain about 1 kilogram of body weight. Fish farming is much more efficient than other types of farmed animals such as chickens, pigs, or cattle.


A major reason why salmon convert feed to body weight so efficiently is that by being cold blooded they do not have to use energy to heat their bodies. Meantime, Marine Harvest Canada is working hard to continue to replace fish protein in the feed we use with plant-based substitutes.

2. Marine Harvest Canada uses sustainable fish meal sources.

The global aquaculture industry uses about half the available fish meal and oil that is produced from sustainable fisheries. Marine Harvest is committed to using fish meal produced only through sustainable fisheries. To visit the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization:

3. How salmon (farmed and wild) receive their beautiful red colour.

The fact is all salmon, wild and farmed, receive carotenoid pigments through their feed source. Wild salmon receive this pigment by eating krill and other crustaceans and our farmed salmon receive this identical pigment in their feed. The carotenoid pigments (astaxanthin and canthaxanthin) fed to our farmed salmon may be natural or nature identical. All salmon, unlike other white fish, retain this red colour within their flesh. These carotenoid pigments, astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, are a powerful antioxidant and available for humans at most health food stores.

4. No hormones or steroids.

No hormones or steroids are used in Marine Harvest Canada feed or in any Marine Harvest Canada products.

5. Our salmon require minimal antibiotics.

Due to our holistic and proactive approach to fish health, our continuous improvements in rearing and management practices and our use of commercially available vaccines, Marine Harvest Canada farmed salmon require minimal antibiotics. In 2006, our salmon contained less than .002% of antibiotic (total active therapeutic/total salmon product). This minimal usage is far less than most other meat products such as chicken, pork or beef. All antibiotics must be administered by a veterinarian and any salmon requiring a treatment cannot be harvested until past the regulated waiting period.


6. Atlantic salmon are unable to breed with Pacific salmon.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) are a different species of salmon than Pacific salmon (Chinook, Sockeye, Coho, Chum and Pink) and therefore are not able to breed with any species of Pacific salmon (referred to as hybridization). The Atlantic salmon is actually a trout and is more closely related to the Rainbow trout than Pacific salmon. In Western North America, governments have attempted to establish self sustaining populations of Atlantic salmon in past years, but attempts failed.


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