One of nature’s best sources of protein and an unrivalled farm product that leaves a minimal environmental impact, the demand for salmon is rising. Farmed salmon have increasingly become an important part of the diet for people all over the world and we have looked into four reasons why the salmon market is growing.
1. Aquaculture feeds the world
A growing population is putting pressure on global food systems including the fish breeding industry. As world fish consumption continues to grow, aquaculture and fish farming specifically have emerged to take up the slack.
As an example, in 2017 the export income from salmon and trout reached 67.5 billion NOK . In terms of volume, it is estimated that aquaculture production in Norway amounts to around 37 million fish meals per day. To put that in perspective that’s a meal for everyone in Canada, each and every day.
Read more: Safeguarding fish health with krill
2. Developing countries driving growth in demand
A significant driver of this growth will be the rising demand for fish in developing countries. They are projected to eat a staggering 93 percent of the additional fish available for human consumption by 2025.
Driven by consistent population growth, an increasingly urbanized new middle class are increasingly identifying fish as a healthy alternative to meat or poultry. With consumption in developing countries estimated to rise from 19.6kg per capita up to 21.5kg per capita by 2025, developing and developed countries will have almost the same per capita seafood needs.
3. Salmon is still the ultimate farmed food
Compared to beef, pork or poultry, salmon is by far the most efficient food system. Providing the highest edible yield and an unbeatable feed conversion of 1.1, salmon also offers the most edible meat per 100g at 61kg. Compared to its land-based rivals, that is six times the figure for beef production, four times that of pork and three times more than poultry.
In addition, salmon retains significantly more protein and energy than the other farmed animals, with beef retaining just 15 percent protein, compared to the salmon’s 31 percent.
4. And it is the most environmentally friendly too
Along with its unrivalled efficiency as a food system, farmed salmon also has the least impact on the environment, compared to meat and poultry production.
For example, the carbon footprint for farmed salmon is 2.9 carbon equivalents per kilogram of edible product. For chicken and pork, they’re 2.7 per kg and 5.9 per kg of edible product respectively. The carbon footprint of cattle? Well, it is as much as 30 carbon equivalents per kilogram of edible product.
When it comes to freshwater consumption, salmon is also miles ahead of the pack. Requiring 2000 liters per kg of edible meat, that’s half of chicken’s intake, a third of pork’s and significantly less than the 15,400 liters of water per kg of edible meat required for beef.