The letter from Gabriela Salva (“Farmed and dangerous: the dish about fish,” Nov. 30) was so full of untruths that it is an unwarranted attack on thousands of hard-working people who grow sustainable and healthy seafood. I plan to bust just a few myths in her letter:
Myth — There are “2 million aquaculture lots” in the Pacific Northwest.
Fact — There are several hundred salmon hatcheries and about 80 farms.
Myth — Aquaculture fish are “constantly doused with antibiotics.”
Fact — Most aquaculture fish receive an effective vaccination and are closely monitored by a veterinarian. As a result, medicinal use in aquaculture is rare — and unlike most other food growers, this information is available to consumers online.
Myth — Consumption of aquaculture fish “increases heart disease.”
Fact — The American Heart Foundation recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish rich in Omega-3s) two times per week, and this includes farm-raised salmon.
Myth — Aquaculture farms have “crammed conditions.”
Fact — Fish naturally “school.” Fish farmed in the ocean are given ample room to range and raised at low densities that ensure the fish are stress-free.
To insist that “America be aquaculture-free” is akin to asking that all terrestrial agriculture cease. Seafood is healthy, and as our population grows, wild creatures in our lakes and oceans (like on land) cannot keep up with demand.
Aquaculture — growing catfish in freshwater ponds in Mississippi and ocean ranching salmon in Alaska and farming salmon in British Columbia — plays a vital role in providing healthy food and conserving our lakes and oceans.
I would encourage Ms. Salva to learn more about aquaculture before scaring people away from a healthy and sustainable food choice.
Ian Roberts, Salmon farmer / Campbell River, British Columbia