Sustainable Salmon Off to a $trong $tart

May 14, 2021

AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon is headed to harvest after decades of development, and its first sales are already signed, sealed, delivered.

The AquaAdvantage salmon is the first genetically modified animal in the country to be approved for human consumption. It’s engineered through snippets of genetic code from Chinook and ocean pout that increase growth efficiency.

Sustainability upside: With the salmon produced on an AquaBounty farm in Indiana instead of under the sea, their feeding cycle and growing environment are perfected. This prevents antibiotic use and pairs down disease exposure.

And customers are bought into the salmon – literally. Five metric tons of the fish were snapped up via preorders by seafood distributors, foodservice companies, and retailers across the U.S.

By the numbers:

  • AquaBounty can produce up to 70% more fresh salmon than conventional Atlantic systems
  • 100 metric tons of salmon will be produced each month
  • A 10,000 metric-ton land-based facility is in the works

But…there’s always a but: Some food safety and environmental critics say something’s fishy about the AquaAdvantage salmon. And several retailers – like Whole Foods – will plan to keep the genetically-engineered fish off the shelves.

AquaBounty says their product may not be for everyone – but it’s meant to be an affordable, safe, and healthy protein option that can reach a wide variety of consumers.