Salmon is one of the world’s most desired fish, and developments to aquaculture for salmon are always occurring. Now we see use of the largest ‘cage’ in the world. Standing 35 metres tall, with a volume of 50,000 cubic metres, the cage is said to be able to harvest 1,500 metric tonnes of salmon per season. The cage can be moved whilst underwater to adjust for temperature, to provide the best environment for the salmon. Positioned off the coast of Rizhao, it is well placed to meet the growing demand for salmon by the Chinese.
Most salmon consumed in china is imported, the majority of which is from Norway and Chile. Being the introduction of the first open sea farm, China looks to be aiming for increased self-sufficiency in salmon. The financial potential from farming the Yellow sea is estimated at around £12bn. For comparison, Norwegian aquaculture totals around £5.74bn. China has also recently reviewed legislation for protein content in feed, reducing the need for imported soybean, following the trade disputes with the USA. These efforts appear to suggest an intention to reduce reliance on imported foods, a trend which may unsettle several markets, including salmon.
Improved methods of salmon farming are becoming more and more commonplace. As well as efforts being made to improve yield, environmental concerns are high on the agenda. A petition to MSPs from organisation Marine Concern requests a change to closed container farming for Scottish salmon, as significant damage to the local environment is being caused. Closed container systems would prevent waste from the salmon falling to the sea floor, spreading disease, and harming the marine ecosystem. We can expect to see some significant changes to the world of salmon farming in the coming years. How the market will behave depends on the leapfrog between demand, supply, and mitigation of production issues.