Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Salmon, Atlantic

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Salmon Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Chinook, Coho, Chum, Keta, King, Pink, Red, Silver & Sockeye Salmon, Sake Alaska Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine, Troll
Salmon Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Chinook, Coho, Chum, Keta, King, Pink, Red, Silver & Sockeye Salmon, Sake California, Oregon, Washington Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine, Troll
Salmon Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Pink & Sockeye Salmon Fraser River, Washington Reefnet
Salmon Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Sockeye Salmon Fraser River (early Summer-run), Washington Reefnet
Salmon Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Chum, Pink, Chinook, Coho & Sockeye Salmon, Sake Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Salmon Roe Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Ikura Alaska Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine, Troll
Salmon, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Farmed Salmon, Sake Worldwide Farmed
Salmon, Atlantic: Verlasso (R) Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Verlasso (R) Chile Farmed
Salmon, Coho Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Sake, Silver Salmon Canadian Pacific Wild
Salmon, Coho Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Sake, Silver Salmon U.S. Farmed in Tank Systems


Atlantic Salmon, Farmed, Worldwide

There are many environmental problems related to farming Atlantic salmon, which means most are rated as "Avoid." However, efforts to reduce some of these environmental impacts have been successful.

Consumer Note

The majority of salmon farmed today are Atlantic salmon. A small quantity of Pacific salmon - Chinook and coho - is also farmed. Salmon is known as sake when prepared for sushi.

Summary

One of the biggest concerns is the amount of food required to raise farmed salmon. It generally takes three pounds of wild fish to grow one pound of farmed salmon. The environmental impact of salmon farming is still increasing as global production continues to rise.

Most salmon are farmed in open pens and cages in coastal waters. Waste from these farms is released directly into the ocean. Parasites and diseases from farmed salmon can spread to wild fish swimming near the farms and escaping farmed salmon can harm wild populations. As a result, most salmon farmed in ocean net pens get an "Avoid" rating. However, some salmon farmers are making changes to improve their practices.

Look for wild-caught salmon, clearly labeled U.S.-farmed freshwater coho salmon or Verlasso® salmon. For now, "Avoid" most farmed Atlantic salmon.


Recipe Alternatives
Seafood Watch recommends wild-caught salmon from Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, as well as U.S. coho (silver) salmon farmed in inland tanks and Verlasso® salmon.

Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat