The Atlantic salmon has been battling its way upstream for thousands of years. However, it’s facing a different and intensifying struggle in the cages where it is farmed.
There’s still an appetite for the king of fish, and prices remain high. But production is down.
Last week, we learned the industry expects an 11% drop in output this year, as it struggles to get on top of sea lice and disease.
When either is found in a cage, salmon are harvested (or slaughtered, if you prefer) straight away, and much earlier than if they grew to their optimum marketable size.
Further evidence of difficulties out in the sea loch has been highlighted by the Food and Drink Federation. In an otherwise upbeat set of figures about exports from the UK sector (breakfast cereals are doing nicely – see below), salmon remains in the exporting top 10, but along with overseas beer sales, it declined in the first quarter of this year.