Farmed salmon escape
Escapes are common when hundreds of thousands of tilapia, catfish, sea bass, steelhead, carp and salmon are held in open pens, farms and ponds. Storms, equipment malfunctions and predators cause significant releases of these farmed fish. In 2008, the U.S. market for farmed salmon, aquaculture’s principal product, was an estimated $45 million. Most of these salmon have been genetically-modified for commercial purposes and biologists are worried about the effects these altered fish will have on wild populations. In 1997, at least 350,000 farmed salmon escaped from aquafarms on the West Coast and many were later found thousands of miles away. Farmed fish that have been genetically modified or selectively bred are more aggressive, grow faster, have smaller fins and larger bodies. When they escape and interbreed frequently enough with wild salmon populations, the genetic make up of these wild stocks are altered and this can lead to a loss of fitness, productivity, diversity and the eventual extinction of some populations. Farmed salmon can also transmit infections and parasites to wild salmon.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.394 - Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States Act

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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