The Salmon Farm Monitor
Guest Column, April 2005
The biggest threat, however, is the interbreeding between wild and farmed fish. In some rivers, escapees far outnumber the wild fish – in some places as much as 80% of the salmon are farmed fish. This genetic pollution of the wild populations will create a salmon less well adjusted to the conditions in their home river and hence with a smaller survival rate. Fish farmers and their organisations maintain that there will be salmon in the rivers. This is nonsense, as the original populations, which are unique in each river, will not exist.
No man-made activity should be allowed in such extent that it threatens the environment and in this case, in time, will extinguish the famous wild salmon of Norway!
During the years between 1973 and to 1999 the number of wild Atlantic salmon reduced by over 80%. Farm-raised salmon now outnumber wild fish nearly 85 to one. It’s a fact that our way of living has brought our wild salmon to a point near extinction. As wild stocks dwindle, this legendary sport fish has become the veritable chicken of the sea.
Norway is one of the wild salmon’s last frontiers. Even though the salmon is extinct in more than 60 Norwegian salmon rivers, the last substantial remaining stocks do spawn in a degree sufficient to preserve the Atlantic wild salmon.
The wild salmon is an important resource for man. A river with wild and living fish is a proof of nature in balance and a guarantee for our existence. Each year tens of thousands of people seek our rivers and lakes to practise angling after these salmonids. Most of the people could not imagine a future without this opportunity.
The Norwegian Salmon Association has only one goal: to preserve the wild salmon.