Farmed Fish

Norway has beautiful mountains and expansive, breathtaking fjords. Unfortunately, during the last decades, the new business of fish farming has grown steadily. From being pristine, clean and untouched, many of the fjords are now filled with fences that hold hordes of fish.

In its natural habitat, salmon swim all the way from the Norwegian coast up to Greenland, where they stay for several years until they return to the same little river that they once left as young. Salmon are one of few fish who are truly fresh water fish and ocean water fish. This very same fish, salmon, that travels so greatly within his life, is also now being extensively farmed. These wild travelers are kept inside small cages for the duration of their lives, until they are killed and sold on international markets as a delicacy.

There are increasing numbers of studies about salmon, including a yearly Farmed Fish Health Report in Norway. The latest report shows that, in 2010, Norwegian aquaculture produced 944 000 tonnes of commercial salmon. As aquaculture has increased and demand for salmon has grown, diseases among the farmed fish have steadily risen. The most common disease is a disease of the Pancreas, caused by a virus that permanently damages pancreatic function in the salmon. Called Chronic Pancreas Disease or Sudden Death Disease, this affliction reduces production of digestive enzymes in the fish, so that they cannot absorb food and nutrients. It also causes major heart and muscle damage, in addition to much suffering from the fish. The damage caused by this disease can be clearly seen in pictures. Chronic Pancreas Disease is also infectious and can easily spread within the cages and to other cages within the same fjord. In addition, there are many other serious and painful diseases, which attack vital organs and cause life-long suffering to the farmed fish. 

In response to the high rates of disease and infection, the salmon are often given antibiotics; however, this widespread use of antibiotics has led to a resistance among salmon to antibiotics. According to many health reports, this is a serious 

problem that has implications for both wild and farmed fish.

It has been known for many years that fish can feel pain. Despite this, however, 

many marine biologists continue to contain salmon in small cages, for their own profit.

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