While Salmon can be caught in the Atlantic using drift nets and fixed nets, most Salmon imported into Malta is from farmed sources. Salmon is farmed in open net pens in countries like Scotland, Ireland, Norway, and other Atlantic European countries. Organically farmed salmon is also on the rise.
Being a farmed and imported product, salmon is available all year round.
Salmon move between fresh and seawater during their lifecycle. Because of this they are termed 'anadromous'. Adult fish return to river they were born in to spawn.
While Salmon live in both fresh and seawater, they do not require sea water. Landlocked salmon (usually because of human interference) are known as ouananiche.
The scientific name Salmo salar comes from the Latin name Salmo meaning Salmon, and salar meaning resident of salt water. Others believe salar comes from the word ‘to leap’.
Salmon living in fresh water possess blue and red spots. Upon maturity, they take on a silver-blue sheen. When they reproduce, males take on a slight green or red colouration.
Most of the salmon consumed globally comes from farmed, open systems, which means that all the waste produced is dumped straight into the sea. This can have adverse environmental impacts such as pollution, parasites, sea lice and other diseases. Since salmon are carnivorous fish, their production relies on wild fish for feed. At present, 3kg of wild fish is required to produce 1kg of farmed salmon.
No salmon is farmed in Malta which means that all salmon consumed here is imported. The importation of fish means a higher carbon footprint.
Numerous health warnings have been issued in relation to salmon as they are found to contain high levels of Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs).
fish for tomorrow believes that since all salmon consumed in Malta comes from open system farming and is imported, it should be eaten in moderation. If you are considering buying salmon try to opt for wild caught or organically farmed fish.