Click here for an interactive map about the global locations and environmental impact of open net pens from ESRI.
Eat more fish, the doctors say. But is the salmon you are consuming really healthy? In the early 1970s, a group of scientists researched how to make more food for the growing population of the world. They looked to the sea. They sampled genes from salmon in 41 Norwegian and Swedish rivers and designed a new salmon that was fatter and faster growing. This was considered an amazing innovation and was the beginning of a new industry: salmon farming.
The industry spread from coastal Norway to Scotland, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Chile, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and the United States. Business boomed, jobs were created, and a new type of food, the farmed salmon, spread around the globe. People everywhere bought and enjoyed the abundant fish: grilled, poached, roasted, and as sushi and sashimi. They were grateful for this delicious, affordable protein.
But at what cost?
We now know that there were unintended consequences: some of these new fish escaped, competing for sustenance with other fish in the sea. The new fish spread diseases, salmon louse swarmed, and wild salmon stocks dwindles.
In a prizewinning five-year investigation, authors Simen Sætre and Kjetil Østli took an in-depth look at Norway’s role in the global salmon industry and, for the first time, produced a comprehensive evaluation of the detrimental effects of salmon farming. From lice to escapees, from concentrating the waste of sea pens in the fjords through which wild salmon swim to their natal streams to the fact that salmon farming causes a net reduction of protein harvested from the ocean, the results don’t look good. Recent victories, such as the banning of net-pen fish farms in the waters of Washington State, are an indication that we are awakening to the environmental price of engineered fish.
It is said that we will continue to make the same mistakes unless we understand them. The New Fish combines nature writing from Norwegian fjords, the coast of Canada, Icelandic landscapes and the far south of Chile with character-driven literary nonfiction and classic muckraking. The authors started with this question: What happens when you create a new animal and place it in the sea? This book will tell you the answer.
The New Fish: The Truth about Farmed Salmon and the Consequences We Can No Longer Ignore (by Simen Sætre and Kjetil Østli)
About the Authors
Simen Sætre (b. 1974) is an investigative reporter who has been published in many languages. He has written six books, on themes including the international chocolate industry, oil states, and a spy in the Norwegian army. His thought-provoking books have been acclaimed and nominated for prizes. Kjetil Østli (b. 1975) is a journalist and author. He co-runs the online magazine Harvest, specializing in nature writing. He has received several prizes and awards for his reporting and his four books, and his début Cops and Robbers earned him the prestigious Brage Award
“A searing indictment of the externalities and inequities inflicted by a profit-obsessed aquaculture industry—and a clarion call to protect, restore—and cherish—the Earth’s life-giving natural systems.”—Joseph Bogaard, executive director, Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition
"A chilling account for anyone interested in food, the environment, and the consequences of toying with nature."—Robert O’Harrow, contributing writer, The Washington Post
“A fast-paced and engrossing read you can’t put down. And when you do? It will leave you pissed off and newly mission driven.”—Anne Shaffer, PhD, Coastal Watershed Institute
Paperback; 368 pages printed in full color with over 80 photos throughout; 6" X 9"
Published by Patagonia
Online resource folder includes text notes as well as interactive maps from ESRI documenting the location of salmon net pens throughout the world and the effects of pollution from salmon farms. Book includes an index
Country of Origin
Made in USA.
680 g (24 oz)
Printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper