Frequently Asked Questions
There are many positive reasons to farm Atlantic salmon;
- It is the most efficient way of producing market desirable protein.
- Farmed Atlantic salmon have a 1:1 ratio of feed to protein produced. This means for every 1kg of feed used there is 1kg of protein produced.
- It helps keep up with the increasing demand for Atlantic salmon in the global seafood market.
- It is available year round, whereas fresh wild caught Atlantic salmon is only available certain times of the year.
- It’s a source of omega 3 fatty acids which have known health benefits.
While land based aquaculture is possible to a certain extent in the Atlantic salmon farming cycle, it is not economically realistic to have the entire cycle land based. Our Atlantic salmon are held longer on land to spend less time in the marine environment, this combination of land and marine based operations give us the best utilization of resources while still being economically viable.
Grieg NL will grow sterile Atlantic salmon for a quickly growing global market. These Atlantic salmon are produced by exposing salmon eggs to high pressure which renders them sterile. Taking advantage of this opportunity in the normal fertilization process produces a normal animal which is sterile and desirable for the marketplace. This aspect of modern aquaculture ensures wild stocks are protected and the aquaculture industry can thrive in harmony with the environment. Sterile salmon have been used in Norway for years with success and it is part of the ongoing effort to minimize the industry’s impact on the environment. This process allows Grieg NL to grow Atlantic salmon independently of maturation to any size desirable.
No, the Atlantic salmon raised by Grieg NL are normal sterile Atlantic salmon, the same sterile Atlantic salmon as you occasionally find among wild stocks in nature.
No, Grieg NL is using the latest technology in the Aqualine Midgard sea cages. These cages are the worlds first escape proof cages and are already being used in various countries around the world. The Atlantic salmon used in our cage systems are sterile and this also contributes to eliminating any genetic pollution through interactions with wild Atlantic salmon populations.
Yes, Atlantic salmon farming can be sustainable. Sustainability is defined as the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance. Grieg NL is a sustainable farming operation; the farmed Atlantic salmon have a 1:1 ratio of feed consumed to protein produced, when compared to beef which have a 6:1 ratio of feed consumed to protein produced. There is also no waste from processing the Atlantic salmon. All components of the salmon including parts such as heads, and frames are used to produce oils and protein for growing markets (biofuels, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals).
No. It is important to understand that all Canadian farmed Atlantic salmon meets or exceeds every precautionary requirement set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Yes. Farmed Atlantic salmon is considered a healthy food choice with proven health benefits. According to the US Department of Agriculture, farmed Atlantic salmon has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than any of the five species of wild Pacific salmon. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency tests farmed salmon for contaminants, pesticides and dioxins before it is sent out to market.
Yes. Farmed Atlantic salmon is high in vitamins A and D and carotenoids, low in saturated fat, and contains just as much protein as hamburger, steak and pork loin. Atlantic salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
No. To eliminate any possible impact on the environment, sea cages are only located in deep waters and areas of good tidal movement and Atlantic salmon farms are strictly controlled in Canada by federal and provincial regulations. All employees of Grieg Newfoundland Salmon live where they work and care deeply for the environment.
No we do not inject or add dyes to the salmon or its feed to make them pink. The pink color of fish such as salmon comes from their diet including krill and other small crustaceans which contains carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants and also provide Vitamin A and enhance the salmon’s immune system. These carotenoids are naturally occurring and are added to the salmon feed as part of an important contribution for the health of the fish. Carotenoids used in Atlantic salmon diets are approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and are completely safe.
Sea lice is a fish parasite that occurs naturally but does not affect humans. They occur on many different species of fish. Attaching themselves to the skin, fins or gills, these parasites feed on the skin and blood of the salmon.
Yes, sea lice are planktonic and can be found in many areas around the world.
We aim to avoid using any chemical treatment to control sea lice. Our main method will be the use of cleaner fish to control sea lice together with functional feeds and good husbandry practices such as net cleaning.
Our Atlantic salmon are fed a dry pellet made from high quality natural animal, plant, fish and marine protein with essential vitamins and minerals. Many of the ingredients are the same as those used in production of feed for domestic animals. Fish feed and its ingredients used in Canada must be approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Farming Atlantic salmon is one of the most efficient ways to produce protein-rich food. Atlantic salmon require less feed (approximately 1 kg) to produce 1 kg of salmon as compared to other food producing industries such as poultry (2 kg feed to produce 1 kg poultry) and beef (6 kg feed to produce 1 kg beef).
Careful monitoring and control of stocking density, nutrition and water quality as well as strict biosecurity protocols are important to eliminating the introduction and spread of any diseases in our farmed Atlantic salmon. Working closely with fish veterinarians, DFA as well as others in the industry is important for regulation and we intend to foster these relationships. Canada has strict regulations which include vaccines, alternative treatments and good production practices to further reduce the incidence and severity of disease impacts.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regularly tests fish at processing plants to ensure it meets Canadian standards for total mercury. You should have no concerns of mercury from eating our farmed Atlantic salmon.
The Canadian aquaculture industry is one of the most strictly regulated industries in the world. There are six federal agencies: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment Canada, Canadian Food and Inspection Agency, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Transport Canada and Health Canada that are involved in regulating all aspects of our aquaculture operation from day-to-day operations to the location of our cages and facilities.
Exclusion and barriers, including nets, covers and enclosures are the most common methods used to keep predators such as birds and seals away from the salmon. Other deterrents such as auditory or visual as well as relocation of the animal may also be used.
All our feeding systems are carefully monitored with computers and advanced camera systems. Changes in the salmon feed behaviour are quickly noted and feed dispensing is adjusted or ceased accordingly. This improves our costs as well as eliminates excessive nutrients being added to our oceans.