Salmon is one of the most vulnerable species on the planet. This is why eating them is not only a slap in the face to this endangered species, but also to Southern Resident Orcas who consume them as their main food source. Populations of the Chinook Salmon, also known as King Salmon, in particular, are dwindling at an alarming rate: it’s estimated their numbers have dropped 99 percent, according to the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. To make up for this serious lack of one of North America’s most beloved fish, commercial salmon farms have become the norm. Around 40 percent of all fish consumed annually are raised on aquafarms – but as in the case of traditional factory farms, concentrating living beings in unnatural conditions leads to some seriously bad environmental impacts.
The increasing demand for salmon has given way to a deadly virus called Piscine Reovirus. Over 80 percent of farmed salmon are infected with this horrific virus that causes their red blood cells to explode. This powerful video from Sea Shepherd addresses the issues with fish farms and illustrates how these floating waste machines are endangering wild salmon populations and causing major damage to the wild species that rely on fish to live.
California, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington State have recognized the impact that the diminishing salmon populations have on wildlife and made it illegal to operate wild salmon farms in their waters. Unfortunately, British Columbia has yet to open their hearts or ears to the facts. Independent scientists in British Columbia have delivered dozens of reports and endless data showing the devastation that is occurring before their very eyes, to no avail. Sea Shepherd is now in Canada for the third summer in a row gathering even more scientific evidence to prove the devastating connection between salmon farms and disappearing orca populations.
You can help by supporting the work of Sea Shepherd and encouraging everyone you know to avoid farmed salmon (and all other seafood while they’re at it) at all costs. To learn more about how our obsession with salmon is harming whales, check out these resources:
- Is Our Obsession With Meat Leading Salmon to Extinction?
- Breaking Discovery Shows the Devastating Impact Salmon Farms Have on the Wild
- Salmon Farming: How Is This Agricultural Operation Harming Pacific Northwest Ecosystems?