Salmon is safe and healthy food

Farmed salmon given a clean bill of health

Currently nearly all salmon consumed globally comes from farming practices. In Canada salmon are farmed in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia. Farmed salmon is British Columbia’s largest agricultural export product - and the largest crop in the New Brunswick agri-food sector.

Farmed salmon are efficient converters; while land animals may need up to 7 kg of feed for every kg of weight it gains; farmed salmon require only about 1.5 kg of feed. New studies show that by further improving their feed, salmon will soon need less than 1 kg of feed for every kg of weight gained.


Nutrace® is our company-wide proactive program to assure feed-to-food quality. Nutrace® safeguards the quality of Skretting products and services and, just as important, it improves operations and profitability for our customers and food chain partners allowing us to provide extensive tracking and traceability. The Nutrace® program, complies with legislation and certification requirements.

We are also subject to multiple auditing bodies including third party certifications such as BAP and ISO, as well as government regulators including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as well as the US Food and Drug Administration. All annual results, reports and analysis by the CFIA of our Skretting feed mills are all publicly available.


Use of antibiotics in the aquaculture industry has been reduced to a fraction of the consumption in 1987. The reason for this, among other things, is that each fish are now vaccinated, which means less illness, just the same as among vaccinated human beings. Today’s feed also produces more robust fish. As well farming practices and population dynamics are more readily understood and can further reduce disease and antibiotic use.

As for the myth fish are fed feed which is laden with antibiotics and hormones this is simply not the case. Feed is produced with high quality nutritionally sound and safe ingredients, none of which include hormones or antibiotics. If there is a need for a medicated feed application a legal prescription must be received along with the prescribed drug, by a registered veterinarian. Only then is a medication used for top coating an already manufactured feed, in a separate line. No medical treatments are ever applied within the feed itself and the prescription includes applicable withdrawal times to which fish cannot be harvested for human consumption to eliminate the risk of any drug residue.

Another popular myth surrounding farmed salmon is that they are high in contaminates. This is an unfounded statement, as the level of undesirable substances, such as dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs has always been significantly below the FDA’s acceptable limits for these substances. In fact the level of dioxins found in farmed salmon is lower than most land animals farmed for human consumption, and has also been found to be lower than the levels in wild salmon and other fatty fish, such as herring and mackerel. The same applies to treatment residues, other organic environmental pollutants and heavy metals.



Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that provide well documented benefits for the heart and brain. Farmed Salmon is an excellent alternative to red meats high in cholesterol and saturated fats.

Nutritionists agree that fish is an important part of a healthy diet and salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in every kind of fish but are especially high in salmon. Researchers around the world agree Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults and promote healthy vision and brain development in infants.

Farmed salmon is a natural source of vitamin D, which is important for bones and teeth, and also iodine, which is important for the body’s energy consumption. Many of us do not get enough of these substances.

Food safety authorities in Europe, North America and Norway believe that many pregnant women do not eat enough seafood.

“This is a worrying statistic. Many people, especially pregnant women, should increase their intake of seafood. We have such good documentation over so many years that I am very comfortable in saying that salmon is safe and healthy,” says Research Director for NIFES, Eide Graff.