World Aquaculture - June 2023

58 JUNE 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG for salmonids products. First, salmonids require specific environmental conditions to thrive and not all areas of the US have those suitable conditions for farming. Second, the cost of production is generally higher in the US compared to other countries, making it more economical to import salmonid products. Finally, the demand for salmonid products has been growing in recent years and domestic production has not been able to keep up with this demand. However, there are efforts being made to increase domestic production of salmonids in the US. These efforts include the development of new technologies and farming methods, as well as the expansion of existing aquaculture operations. With continued investment and innovation, it is possible that the US may become less reliant on imports for salmonid products in the future (Figs. 3 and 4). There is a potential premium for locally produced salmon in the US market, particularly for consumers who value locally sourced and sustainable food products. As an example, when comparing retail prices, Atlantic Sapphire’s locally produced fish in Florida is sold at a 23 percent premium compared to imported fish fillets from Chile, according to Publix retail chain prices in early April 2023. Consumers who prioritize buying locally produced food products may be willing to pay a premium for salmon that is produced in the US, as it reduces the environmental impact of transportation and supports local economies. In addition, domestically produced salmon may be perceived as fresher and of higher quality, as it has a shorter time from harvest to market. Furthermore, there is growing demand for sustainable seafood products, and domestically produced salmon may be seen as more sustainable than imported products because of stricter regulations and oversight of the aquaculture sector in the US. This may also result in a premium price for domestically produced salmon. However, it is important to note that the price premium for locally produced salmon may vary depending on several factors such as production costs, market demand and competition from imported products. The availability and cost of feed, labor and other production inputs also influence the cost of production and therefore the price of domestically produced salmon. Ultimately, the price premium for locally produced salmon will depend on how much consumers are willing to pay for the perceived benefits of domestically produced and sustainable seafood products. Salmon Has Achieved Core Menu Status Salmon has achieved core menu status in many countries, similar to chicken and beef, which relates to its versatility, health benefits and consumer demand. Salmon is a popular choice for restaurants and foodservice operations because it can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as grilling, poaching and baking, and it pairs well with a wide largest producer of trout in the US using mainly flow-through technology. They have four farms with a capacity of 15,000 t per year. Riverence Holdings acquired Clear Springs in 2020. Their total trout production now is around 12,000 t/yr. • Mt. Lassen Trout Farms (Paynes Creek, California). Farm produces around 3.5 million pounds of trout per year, which are raised in concrete raceways fed by fresh spring water. • Idaho Trout Company (Hagerman, Idaho) produces around 1400 t of trout per year. The farm is situated near the Snake River, which provides a constant supply of fresh water. Trout are raised in raceways using a combination of natural and artificial feeds. The farm uses sustainable practices, such as recycling water and using solar energy, to minimize its environmental impact. • American Gold Seafoods (Rochester, Washington) produces around 1000 t of trout and salmon per year. The company uses a combination of hatchery and net pen systems to raise Atlantic salmon in the Pacific Ocean. • Hudson Valley Fisheries (Hudson, New York) has a current production volume around 300 t of steelhead trout with a production capacity up to 1000 t. • Atlantic Sapphire (Homestead, Florida) operates a landbased salmon farm using Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology. Current production volumes are close to 3000 t/yr with a production capacity up to 10,000 t/yr. Aquabounty (Albany, Indiana) is a biotechnology company• that produces genetically modified salmon. They grow salmon faster than conventional salmon, using less feed and producing less waste. The salmon are grown in land-based tanks and are sold primarily in North America. They produce about 1400 t of salmon. • Nordic Aquafarms (Belfast, Maine and Humboldt County, California) is a Norwegian company that specializes in sustainable land-based aquaculture. In the United States, the company has received permits to build a large salmon farm in Maine, which is expected to produce more than 60 million pounds of Atlantic salmon per year. The US Market of Salmonid Products Suitable for Consumption The US market for salmonid products is heavily reliant on imports. Although there is some domestic production in the US, it is not nearly enough to meet the demand for salmonid products. The majority of salmonid products consumed in the US are imported from Chile, Canada, Norway and Scotland. These countries have significant aquaculture industries and are major exporters of salmonid products to the US. There are several reasons for the US dependence on imports FIGURE 2. Main salmon and trout producers in the USA (Source: FAO FishStatJ).