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Salmon, Atlantic (Farmed)

Salmo salar

Method of production - Farmed
Production country - Europe
Production method - Open net pens, Soil Association organic certification
Accreditation - Organic
Fish type - Oily fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is a good sustainable fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find similar fish to eat.

Sustainability overview

Soil Association Organic Certification Standards for farmed Atlantic salmon set comprehensive standards for the cultivation of salmon which includes third party auditing, inspection and enforcement procedures, standards include hatchery production and feed production. These standards led to better overall environmental performance including: reduced stocking densities leading to less benthic impacts and disease reduction; limited use of medicines and chemicals in production; feed must be produced from off-cuts and by-products of human consumption fisheries and organic certified plant raw materials (no GMO) and stringent regulations and third party on site auditing.


Salmon are termed "anadromous", meaning during their lifecycle they move between fresh and marine waters; salmon farming attempts to mirror this lifecycle. Broodstock fish are moved to freshwater for spawning, where the eggs are also fertilised and hatched. The hatched fish (called fry) are also kept in freshwater and fed pellets manufactured from fish meal. At about 18 months the fish (now called smolts) are transferred to seawater cages where growth continues until market size is reached, usually at about 2 years.

Stock information

Stock area

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Stock information


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Production method

Open net pens, Soil Association organic certification

Salmon are farmed in open net pens in the sea. These are floating cages suspended in the sea and held in place by moorings underneath the cages. Water flows through the cages which are made of strong netting that also allows waste to fall through to the sea bed below.

Read the MCS Aquaculture policy position paper

FAO: Atlantic salmon Feed Production. Accessed 01/05/2014

Soil Association organic standards aquaculture Revision 17.2 June 2014.

Marine Scotland Science (2013) Scottish Fish Farm Production Survey. Scottish Government.

FAO Cultered Species Factsheet.

MBA Seafood Watch assessment. Farmed Atlantic salmon in Scotland 2014

Marine Scotland.,

Aquaculture and Freshwater Fisheries Act (2012) , WEWS Act 2003. EIA (Scotland) Regulation 1999, Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture (2007) Europe."Health requirements & disease control:Aquatic Animal Health (Scotland) Regulations 2009, which implement Directive 2006/88/EC:"

Marine Scotland

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