Nearly 2 million metric tons of wild fish are harvested from the ocean to feed Norwegian farmed salmon every year, according to a report from U.K.- an

Nearly 2 million metric tons of wild fish used to feed Norwegian farmed salmon annually, report finds

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2024-07-09 05:00:03

Nearly 2 million metric tons of wild fish are harvested from the ocean to feed Norwegian farmed salmon every year, according to a report from U.K.- and Netherlands-based environmental campaign group Feedback, as well as a coalition of West African and Norwegian organizations.

According to "Blue Empire: How the Norwegian salmon industry extracts nutrition and undermines livelihoods in West Africa," these wild fish are used to produce fish oil for salmon feed, which is contributing to the loss of livelihoods and malnutrition in the West African countries of The Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania. 

“Along the West African coast, small-scale fishing is the only means of subsistence for Indigenous communities,” Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa ( RAMPAO ) Executive Secretary Marie Suzanna Traore said. ”The big boats that supply the fishmeal and fish oil industry with fish caught in African waters – to the detriment of these communities – undermine their human dignity.”

In the report, Feedback calculated that the Norwegian salmon farming industry’s "feed footprint" is equivalent to 2.5 percent of global marine fisheries catch. The report also estimated that Norway’s annual output of farmed salmon is 27 percent lower than the volume of wild fish required to produce the fish oil used in Norwegian farmed salmon feed. The Norwegian industry’s plan to more than triple farmed salmon production to 5 million metric tons by 2050 would create demand for over three times as much wild-caught fish compared to 2020.

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