We recently discussed the kashrus concerns of various salmon diseases (see post of March 28th entitled, "Does Illness Affect Kosher Status of Fish?" below). All kashrus aside, today I'm struck with thinking about the "morality" of the whole thing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating the end of farmed fish (we eat plenty of farmed salmon and tilapia at home, despite my misgivings about it). What I am saying is that all consumers (be they of food, natural resources, or even other people's time and money for that matter) have a certain responsibility to be aware of the other side of their consumption. Let's call this my thesis.
Today's story is from the Patagonia Times (a newpaper highlighting the area of Chile where salmon is farmed) regarding the move of salmon farms from "Region X" to "Region XII". The reasons for the move are clear - there isn't enough room in Region X, and there is need for disease free waters for farming.
After reading the story, you can get the sense of how much salmon farming may be effecting the environment, all in the name of consumption.
For those less familiar with Chile (I was lucky to be able to visit in Jan 2006, for business) the areas are not divided by states or counties so much as "Regions", starting from the north and running south. Most Chilean salmon (70% according to this article) are farmed in Region X, in and around Puerto Montt.
Consume as you wish. My suggestion, simply think before consuming...