Salmon – 11 Fascinating Facts About Salmon

Unfortunately, salmon has been the most popular fish meat in Germany for several years now. Every year Germans eat about 3 kilograms of salmon meat and 2.6 million tons of salmon are “produced” worldwide every year – that’s countless individuals killed for human consumption. [1, 2] Salmon is one of the unique animals that have great abilities.

Learn more about the wonderful life of salmon and why they deserve to live in freedom and not be tortured and killed for us humans.

1. How old can salmon reach?

In the wild, salmon can live up to 13 years. [3] Salmon in aquaculture do not reach this age as they are killed long before then. In the sea and rivers too, humans catch and kill salmon so frequently that they can never reach their normal life expectancy.

2. Salmon are real giants

Few people see salmon in the wild, so many will be surprised to learn how big some of these wonderful animals grow. An adult Atlantic salmon can reach a length of 1.50 meters and a weight of 57 kilograms. [4]

3. Salmon migrate for a year

Most people know about the amazing salmon migrations, when fish swim hundreds of kilometers over rivers from the sea to their birthplace for breeding. But did you know that this rise could take a year? [5]

Animals overcome big obstacles like waterfalls and cliffs with amazing endurance, which costs a lot of time and energy. [2] Even meter-high obstacles are crossed – even if it takes a lot of attempts. The journey can extend hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. During the flight, the salmon orients itself using its unusual sense of smell and magnetism.

Salmon migrate upstream
Salmon spend their life in the ocean, swimming upstream to lay eggs.

4. How many eggs does salmon lay?

As soon as the salmon reaches the destination, it begins to breed. The female digs a hollow on a bank of pebbles with her tail fin and lays up to 30 thousand eggs in it. [5] The eggs are then fertilized with sperm by several male salmon. Then the mother salmon covers the eggs again with gravel.

5. Salmon die during or after migration

The long migration costs salmon so much energy that upon arrival it is usually completely exhausted and loses most of its weight. So most of them die during or after migration due to lack of supply and exhaustion.

6. Salmon are the real masters of change

Since salmon grow in rivers and swim in the sea after about five years, their bodies have to adapt to salt water. To do this, they undergo various transformations and are thus real artists of rapid change. With what’s called osmosis regulation, your body adjusts to the changing salt content in the water. When the animals later swim in fresh water as they migrate, this process begins again.

salmon
Depending on the water and salt content, salmon can alter the metabolism.

7. Salmon have been extinct in Germany for a long time

Due to overfishing, dam building, and other obstacles in their path, salmon were eliminated in Germany and Central Europe in the mid-20th century. Salmon have been living in our rivers again for a few decades as a result of resettlement projects. [6]

8. Salmon can get depressed

Salmons are sensitive creatures capable of suffering, which, like us humans, can suffer from mental illnesses. Studies have shown that the animals in the salmon farm suffer from great psychological stress and become depressed due to the cramped, noisy and odorless housing. [7] Many animals also become aggressive and attack their creatures in small tanks.

9. Salmon is important to our ecosystem

Salmon is of great importance in our ecosystem. Through their migrations, they are the food base for more than 200 different animal species such as bears and bald eagles. The bodies of the dead salmon also supply the bodies of water and thus the forests with nitrogen. [8]

Salmon jumping out of the water
Salmon is an important food source for more than 200 animal species in the water and on land.

10. Salmon can feel pain

Several studies have already proven that salmon, like all fish, can suffer from pain. [9] If they are crushed in nets or have their mouths pierced with fish hooks, they suffer just as much as we humans do. When pulled ashore or on a boat, they struggle for oxygen just as we struggle underwater.

Salmon suffer greatly in fisheries and aquaculture. Unique animals do not deserve to be captured, tortured, and killed for human consumption. Like all animals, they have the right to self-determination and a peaceful life in freedom.

11. There are many alternatives to vegan salmon

Whether in sushi, pasta sauce or on the grill – there is a delicious vegetarian alternative to salmon and other fish meat for every dish, which no animal suffers from. For example, have you ever tried salmon carrots? There are now many animal-friendly options in supermarkets and restaurants that will make you want more vegetarian dishes. Just give it a try!

Help the animals – prevent salmon farming in Malcho!

It is planned to build a huge salmon farm in Malchow in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which will initially produce 5,000 tons of fish meat annually. Help prevent animal suffering by signing our petition against building the facility.

  • Sources

    [1] Focus (15 June 2020): The truth about salmon, https://www.focus.de/gesundheit/ernaehrung/gesundessen/die-wahrheit-ueber-lachs-so-gesund-ist-der-lieblingsfisch-der-deutschen_id_9422002.html (Found on 06/30/2020)

    [2] Aquaculture information: salmon https://www.aquakulturinfo.de/lachs (Accessed 30/06/2022)

    [3] Noa Fisheries: Fun Facts About Amazing Atlantic Salmon, https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/outreach-and-education/fun-facts-about-amazing-atlantic-salmon (Accessed 30.06.2022)

    [4] USGS: How many species of salmon are there and how big can they get?, https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/how-many-species-salmon-are-there-and-how-large-can-they-git ( Accessed 06/30/2022

    [5] WWF (January 12, 2016): Atlantic Salmon in the Species Dictionary, https://www.wwf.de/themen-projekte/artenlexikon/atlantischer-lachs (Accessed June 30, 2022)

    [6] Biology-Schule.de (2021): The salmon – profile, https://www.biologie-schule.de/lachs-steckbrief.php (accessed 06/30/2022)

    [7] Vindas MA, Johansen IB, Folkedal O, Höglund E, Gorissen M, Flik G, Kristiansen TS, Øverli Ø. (2016). Brain serotonergic activation in farmed salmon with stunted growth: adaptation versus pathology. Royal Society of Open Science, 3 (5), [160030]https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160030 (Accessed 06/30/2022)

    [8] I (2010): The Greatest Landscape on Earth (2), https://web.archive.org/web/20100326013925/http://www.daserste.de/erlebniserde/beitrag_dyn~uid,65zpdtconrlx5qi0~cm. Asia Pacific (Accessed 06/30/2022)

    [9] Lyndon, Lin Yu (2003) Evidence for pain in fish: the use of morphine as an analgesic. Applied Animal Ethology, 83(2), 153-162

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