Q: What are the health benefits of eating salmon?

Salmon is a delicious and nutritious food.  At Loch Duart, we work hard to make sure that the fish we rear provide the optimum levels of Omega-3 for consumers. To achieve this, we include high levels of high quality, sustainable marine ingredients in the feed for our fish. As a result, our salmon are rich in nutritionally important essential Omega-3 fatty acids.

Loch Duart was fortunate to be asked to supply fresh salmon for research carried out by Glasgow University’s School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing.  The results of this research on heart health are hugely impressive.

“The changes in blood pressure and lipids alone with salmon intake predict around a 25% reduction in CHD risk based on the PROCAM risk calculator.”

Source: Lara, J.J., Economou, M., Wallace, A.M., Rumley, A., Lowe, G., Slater, C., Caslake, M., Sattar, N. and Lean, M.E.J. (2007) Benefits of salmon eating on traditional and novel vascular risk factors in young, non-obese healthy subjects.

Atherosclerosis, 193(1), pp. 213-221. (doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2006.06.018)

 

Q: How is the feed for your salmon sustainable?

We are immensely proud of our activity in this area.  Our salmon are only given feed containing high levels of high quality marine ingredients, similar to the diet of wild salmon. The fish oil in our feed comes from fisheries that are certified to the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation Responsible Supply Standard – IFFO RS.

Please watch our short film if you would like to learn more:

Feed provenance film 

 

Q: Is salmon farming an efficient way of producing food?

Fish are naturally very effective convertors of food into flesh – they are cold blooded, so do not have to expend valuable energy maintaining a high body temperature; and their swimbladders mean they don’t have to use a lot of energy to move around.

Farming salmon is a very efficient and low impact way to produce high quality food, especially when compared with chicken, pork and beef. Salmon farming has a low carbon footprint and uses very little fresh water, so it is both an efficient and sustainable way of producing delicious, nutritious food.

Read more on the SSPO website about how Scottish salmon is a healthy and responsible source for protein:

A Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistics Division 

 

Q: Does your salmon farm impact on wild salmon and sea trout?

Scientists have concluded that the widespread decline of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout across England, Scotland and Wales and more widely across the North Atlantic ocean is multifactorial*. The factors involved include commercial fishing in the open oceans, predation by birds and seals and, most importantly, global climate change and the effects of this on sea surface temperature. A great many marine species, from invertebrates, to fish, to seabirds, to marine mammals are suffering as a result of global climate change.

The decline in wild salmon catches in Scotland started before official records began in 1952, and long before the first salmon farms were established. Nevertheless, we recognise the importance of protecting wild salmon stocks; and that Scotland’s water environment is shared by aquaculture and wild fisheries alike. In order to minimise any additional pressure on wild stocks, the salmon industry is strictly regulated to ensure low sea lice levels (sea lice are naturally occurring, and have been associated with wild salmon for millenia). In recent years, lice levels on Loch Duart farms have been exceptionally low.

Professor Paul Tett, one of the authors of a report written for the Holyrood Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, informed its members that:

“We could not find definitive evidence in Scotland that sea lice from farmed salmon are having an impact on wild salmon populations…”

*SourceRural Economy & Connectivity Committee 07 March 2018, Professor Tett, contrib. 148 (pp 80)

 

Q: Do your salmon farms pollute the sea?

All human activities, including farming to produce food, have some environmental impact. For example, agricultural farms impact on the environment by cultivating fields, using fertilisers and controlling parasites and pests that would otherwise destroy crops and injure livestock.

Salmon require clean, high quality water to thrive, and are sensitive indicators of water quality, so it is very much in our interest to ensure the farming environment is well managed. The  impact of salmon farms, both at sea and in fresh water, is modelled, regulated and monitored to ensure that any effects are restricted to the area adjacent to the farms, and are minimal and reversible.

Salmon farms are granted licences by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on this basis.  The amount of fish that can be reared and the use of any medicines that might be required to support good fish health and welfare are authorised by SEPA according to site-specific environmental modelling and associated monitoring requirements. As noted above, the farm environment is frequently checked and scientifically monitored to ensure that it is safeguarded.

 

Q: Should salmon farming move further out to sea?

The areas in which we farm are some of the longest-established in Scotland; some having been used to produce our high quality salmon for over 45 years. Loch Duart’s sensitively located sites are well managed and we work hard to minimise any impact from our activities. We are proud to have co-existed harmoniously and productively with the people and wildlife that inhabit this beautiful part of Scotland and believe there is no necessity for us to move out to sea.

 

Q: Why do you farm in the open sea and not in tanks on land?

Our farmed salmon thrive when reared in pens at low stocking levels in their natural environment in the open sea.  Moving salmon to land based tanks has a number of challenges:

  • it is energy intensive, using significantly more energy to pump, filter and treat water;
  • to produce salmon cost-effectively, tank sites typically need to operate at much higher stocking densities than in sea pens, something that is not conducive to good welfare;
  • uncertainty remains about the ability of recirculation technology to reduce or eliminate the risk of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens being spread between tanks
  • open sea pens allow salmon to adapt naturally from juveniles in fresh water to adults in sea water; and to swim naturally against strong sea water currents to ensure good condition and muscle tone.

 

Q: What are Loch Duart’s Sustainable Development Goals?

Loch Duart will continue to farm successfully in small, inshore locations in the same environmentally sensitive way that we have since our foundation over 45 years ago.

Loch Duart has always measured its sustainability with the question: “Can we still be doing what we’re doing in one or two hundred years from now?”  We firmly believe that answer to that question is yes! Our beliefs are based on our farming philosophy of combining low environmental impact with the use of feed from sustainable sources to produce delicious, nutritious fresh Scottish salmon.