Salmon farming started on an experimental level in the 1960s, but became an industry in Norway in the 1980s and in Chile in the 1990s.[i]

Approximately 60% of the world’s salmon production is farmed, and in 2011 1,600,000 tonnes of salmon came from farms, while 930,000 tonnes of wild salmon were caught. Atlantic salmon farming has traditionally been dominated by a few producing countries due to several natural conditions that have to be in place for optimal production, including seawater temperature range, a sheltered coast line and certain biological conditions. Most cultured salmon comes from Norway, Chile, Scotland and Canada. Farming takes place in large nets in sheltered quiet waters such as fjords or bays, or in tanks on land.[ii]

With a rapidly growing global population, the world needs sustainable sources of healthy protein. The largest markets for salmon are currently the EU, USA and Japan. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nation predict growth in the world’s population to reach 9 billion by 2050, with the need for protein expected to grow by 70% worldwide.[iii]

As population increases there will be added pressure on the already over-exploited wild fish reserves. Farmed fish are required to efficiently manage and maintain stock levels in the wild to maintain the oceans natural biodiversity and food chain impacts.

With increasing obesity and decreasing health standards, governments and food and health advisory bodies in Europe and North America are actively encouraging their populations to consume more fish as part of their diet.[iv] Farmed salmon is a good source of protein, vitamin D, A and B12, iodine, antioxidants and essential marineomega-3 fatty acids.[v]

The farmed salmon industry can make a key contribution to balancing the needs of a growing population, and the demand for a healthy and sustainable protein source.