Is Norway’s farmed salmon as healthy as we think?

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Dead salmon float on the surface of the water in a fish farm in the Lofoten, Northern Norway, on May 27, 2019. Millions of farmed salmon have died in northern Norway due to an algae bloom that the authorities are struggling to bring under control, the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate has said. (Berit Roald/AFP/Getty Images)
Swedes love salmon but some scientists and a new film say the farmed variety of the fish isn’t as healthy as it’s believed.

Ninety-seven percent of the salmon consumed in Sweden is farmed in Norway. Swedish angler Mikael Frödin has fished for salmon in rivers for decades and says wild salmon in Sweden is suffering from the impact of the farmed salmon industry.

Together with a film team from the American outdoor clothing company Patagonia, with whom Frödin works as a so-called brand ambassador, the group documented the conditions at a salmon pen on the Alta fjord in Norway, and was later sentenced for trespassing.

Sigmund Björgo of the Norwegian Seafood Council, a public company owned by the Norwegian state that works with the seafood industry, says the film crew never approached the salmon farming industry to get their side of the story.

He added that Norway’s wild salmon stock is doing well even with the many salmon farms in the country.

Meanwhile, Norwegian scientist Bjørn Bolann at the University of Bergen is trying to get the message out that farmed salmon is harmful to pregnant women, their babies and young children because of toxins that store in the fatty fish. Listen in to hear the whole story.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Community in Arctic Canada seeks ways to grow thriving turbot industry, CBC News

Finland: What a Saami-led salmon rewilding project in Arctic Finland can teach us about Indigenous science, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland Atlantic salmon catch numbers well above new quota, CBC News

Norway: Cod moving further north as climate changes in Arctic Europe, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Norway and Russia agree to slash cod quotas in Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Seasonal foods threatened by pollution problems, Swedish study says, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. gov clears path for genetically engineered salmon, Alaska Public Media

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Liv Lewitschnik, Radio Sweden

Liv Lewitschnik, Radio Sweden

For more news from Sweden visit Radio Sweden.

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