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Without the addition of artificial colourings such as Canthaxanthin (E161g) farmed salmon would be an unappetizing grey colour (i.e. farmed salmon has a fake tan). Canthaxanthin has been linked to eye defects and its use was drastically reduced in 2003 following a food safety edict by the European Union. Read more via "Ugly in Pink".
A scientific paper in the prestigious journal Science published in 2004 - "Global Assessment of Organic Contaminants in Farmed Salmon" - reported that Scottish farmed salmon was the most contaminated in terms of cancer-causing chemicals such as PCBs, dioxins, DDT and dieldrin. Read more via "Spinning Farmed Salmon".
Emamectin benzoate is a toxic chemical which is widely known to kill lobsters. Scottish salmon has been found to be contaminated by Emamectin benzoate at least eight times since 2005. Read more via "Scottish Salmon Overdoses on Toxic Chemical" and "Damning Report on Toxic Salmon Farms Buried - SEPA finally acts on lobster-killing chemical"
The toxic chemicals used on salmon farms are labelled by the chemical manufacturers as 'Marine Pollutants'. Read more via 'Silent Spring of the Sea' and "Scientific Backgrounder: Ecotoxicity & Chemical Resistance".
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that chemicals designed to kill sea lice (members of the crustacean family) also kill other crustacea such as lobsters. Cooke Aquaculture found this out to their cost in Canada when fined $500,000 for killing hundreds of lobsters. Read more via "New Scientific Paper: Salmon Farming Chemical Kills Lobsters!!"
The use of Hydrogen Peroxide shot up from 19,200 litres in 2005 to 19.6 million litres in 2015 (an increase of 101,801%). Hydrogen Peroxide is also used as a propellant in torpedoes and rockets as well as in bleach. Read more via "Sky-Rocketting Chemical Use on Scottish Salmon Farms" and "Record chemical use 'of concern' to salmon giant".
Scottish salmon farms have reported the use of Oxytetracycline, Florfenicol, Amoxycillin and Fenbendazole. Read more via "Fish 'hooked on chemicals' - antibiotics are risk to public health, warns campaigner" and "Antibiotic-ridden Scottish Salmon"
Astaxanthin is another artificial colouring added to salmon feed. Research by chemical giant DSM shows wealthy shoppers go for darker-hued salmon. Read more via "Here's why your farmed salmon has colour added to it" and "Time: How farmers turn their salmon pink".
Ethoxyquin is an additive used as a flame retardant in the transportation of salmon feed. Read more via "Scottish Salmon Farming 101"; "The science behind what's in farmed salmon"; "How healthy is farmed salmon and what is ethoxyquin?" and "SSPO briefing on Ethoxyquin use".
Deltamethrin is a toxic chemical used to kill sea lice on Scottish salmon farms - but it also has toxicity to non-target crustaceans and amphipods. Read more via "Company says sorry for offering environment officials free salmon"; "Chemicals to control salmon parasites" and "Scottish Salmon's Lethal Legacy".
Scottish salmon farmers used the carcinogenic organophosphate Dichlorvos until it was banned and now use the lobster-killing chemical Azamethiphos. Read more via "Scottish Salmon's Lethal Legacy: Ten-fold increase in toxic chemical use in ten years"
Watch a video report from Chef Marcus Guiliano dishing the dirt on pharmed fish: "Tell Thomas Keller to stop serving farmed samon"
"Crackdown on fish farm pesticides after Sunday Herald investigation"
With the advent of salmon farming, the reputation of Scottish salmon has quite literally gone down the toilet. Read more via "The Sun: "Fish Faeces: Scotland's booming fish farming market will lead to coastlines being swamped by salmon poo"" and "Sunday Express: "Farms Turning Pristine Waters 'To Toxic Toilets'".
Waste pollution from salmon farms has been linked to eutrophication, hypernutrification and toxic algal blooms - with Scottish salmon farms discharging more sewage wastes than Scotland's population of 5.4 million. Access data on waste emissions including Nitrogen, Copper, Zinc & Phosphorus via "Scotland's Aquaculture". Read more via "Pollution from fish farms 'as bad as sewage'"; "Poison blamed on fish farms; Expert critical of officials" and "Scotland's Secret: Aquaculture, Nutrient Pollution, Eutrophication and Toxic Blooms".
Read more via "David Ainsley shows us the waste impacts of salmon farms"; "Shame Below the Waves"; "Pollution fears over fish farms"; "Factors Affecting Benthic Impacts at Scottish Fish Farms"; "Benthic Recovery Project"; "Impact of fish farms on maerl beds in strongly tidal areas"; "Investigation into the impact of marine fish farm deposition on maerl beds" and "A Big Fish In A Small Pond".
Almost a fifth (18%) of Scottish fish farms were classified by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency as failing and responsible for "at least one significant breach" in 2015.
Marine Harvest was the worst operator with 13 "failing" salmon farms in 2015 (that's 27% of the 49 marine salmon farms operated by Marine Harvest). Read more via "Failing Fish Farms - 18% rated "poor" by SEPA in 2015".
Data from SEPA ranked fish farms as 2nd worst out of "Scotland's polluting industries". Read more via "Exposed: the 383 plants that pollute Scotland" and "Mapped: the hundreds of firms condemned for ‘poor’ pollution performance".
Marine Harvest polluted Loch Shell with the toxic pesticide Teflubenzuron (subsequently banned by SEPA) up to 450 times higher than recommended levels. Read more via "Fish company investigated after salmon farm pollutes Scottish loch"; "Revealed: the dirty dozen salmon farms that contaminate lochs with pesticides" and "Revealed: the toxic pesticides that pollute our lochs".
Scottish salmon is not the only toxic salmon - here's Kurt Oddekalv from the Green Warriors of Norway reporting on "Toxic Salmon from Norway". Read more via "Report on the Environmental Impact of farming of North Atlantic salmon in Norway".