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Alexandra Morton, salmon feedlots and closed containment

Positive Aquaculture Awareness has some questions for Alexandra Morton

August 3, 2010

Alexandra Morton, salmon feedlots and closed containment

Activists love emotional language.

American activist, Alexandra Morton, loves to hate salmon farming. It's her passion, it's her job.

Alexandra Morton says she supports aquaculture, but just not salmon farming. Makes one wonder who's paying for her very selective criticisms?

She calls salmon farms "industrial salmon feedlots". Ewwww...conjures up images of chickens stuffed in cages and pigs rolling in their own poo. Ewwww. (no offence to the hard working poultry and pork farmers of this world).

She also says salmon feedlots are "an ecology of bad ideas, struggling to control disease with drugs, corrupting the food chain by using warm-blooded animal products...dyeing their fish pink to resemble salmon." 

Ms. Morton says salmon should not be farmed because they are carnivores, and therefore eat fish as part of their diet (this conveniently ignores the fact that billions of hatchery salmon in Alaska, Russian and Japan are the same carnivorous beasts).

But wait, she has a solution! Grow salmon in tanks on land, she says. Yes, growing fish in tanks on terra firma is automatically "sustainable", she says. 

Here's some logical questions for Alexandra Morton:

1. How does trading the current method of growing salmon at low densities in their natural environment, for salmon crammed into concrete tanks on land, make it less of a "feedlot"? Answer: it doesn't. Try marketing that vision!

2. How does moving a carnivorous fish onto land turn it into a vegetarian? Answer: it doesn't (click here to know the facts about fish meal use in aquaculture).

3. If farmed salmon are dyed pink, how would moving them on land change that? Answer: it wouldn't, but its a moot point anyways because farmed salmon are not dyed. Geeez, how many times do we have to tell you! (click here to know the facts about how salmon get their color). 

4. If disease is an issue on BC salmon farms , how would packing salmon into tanks on land improve fish health? Answer: it wouldn't (click here to know the facts about fish health programs on BC salmon farms).

5. How does trading the use of a green power (tidal power) used by ocean based salmon farms today, for energy hungry water pumps and filters required to operate tanks on land, automatically make it "sustainable"? Answer: C'mon, you know the answer!

Well, it's quite clear that the apparent solution to the "ills" of salmon farming aren't solutions at all - it's just another way of de-marketing a healthy, affordable and sustainable protein source.  

And it was so obvious we almost missed it!

"Industrial salmon feedlot" doesn't accurately describe the way salmon are raised today, but it could be a fair representation of the future...if Alexandra Morton has her way. 

Source: Positive Aquaculture Awareness blog

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