SalmonCoho salmon, Sockeye salmon


  • Latin name: 
    Oncorhynchus kisutch, O. nerka
  • Seafood type: Salmon
  • Harvest method: Closed system
  • Region: Farm specific
  • Wild/Farmed: 
Ocean Wise

Coho Salmon, Sockeye Salmon Farmed Closed System

Sustainable alternatives: 
Inland freshwater tank-based coho and sockeye salmon are sustainable seafood options.
Sustainability concerns: 
Freshwater tank-based coho and sockeye salmon farms produce no overall net protein gain. Although the weight of fish oil used is less than the total fish output, on average 1.2 kg of fishmeal is used to produce 1 kg of farmed coho, which is a moderate conservation concern.
Freshwater tank-based, closed containment coho farms are small in scale with only a few in existence but provide an alternative to open-net pen farms. Freshwater tank-based closed containment sockeye farms are very limited in number and emerged just within the last decade.
Life History and Population Status: 
Farmed coho and sockeye salmon have been bred to carry out their entire life cycle in freshwater eliminating the need to migrate to ocean waters to continue their growth phase. They are cultured from broodstock, raised in hatcheries, and then transferred to tanks to complete their growth. They can be stocked at higher densities than open net pen farms and have been selected for rapid growth making them ideal for aquaculture.
Management efforts for closed system coho and sockeye salmon farming is deemed highly effective. Compliance with existing federal, state/provincial, and local regulations is evident for siting, discharge, and exotics/diseases. Better management practices are in place, especially in terms of reducing escapes such as the use of barriers between grow-out tanks and final outflow pipes.
Impact on Other Species: 
The impact of closed system farming is considered overall to be a low conservation concern to the marine environment. The ratio of wild fish in feed is lowered from other forms of salmon aquaculture due to the use of fish processing by-products and other alternatives to marine feed ingredients. The risk of escapes is low due to the effectiveness of barriers at water outlets. The risk of disease amplification and retransmission is also low because the farm uses groundwater that has little chance of coming in contact with wild fish diseases and effective effluent settling mitigates the possibility of pathogen transmission to wild stocks.
Habitat and Ecosystem Impacts: 
Due to the effectiveness of effluent settling ponds and the location of the farm being adjacent to a non-ecologically sensitive wetland, where effluent can disperse before reaching rivers, the potential to impact nearby habitat is low.


  • No or little concern in this area.
  • Significant concern in this area.
  • Area under study.