Patagonia Pure and Proud


As stewards of this remarkable environment, we proudly produce high-quality salmon using humane and environmentally responsible aquaculture. We are committed to protecting and preserving the environment where we live so future generations can prosper.

Image of a Chilean Fish Farm

Salmon farming is FAR MORE EFFICIENT than other forms of farmed terrestrial protein. It only takes 1.2-1.5 pounds of feed to produce one pound of farmed salmon versus 6-10 pounds of feed to produce one pound of beef. The lower the feed conversion ratio, the better. Expansion of salmon farming and salmon consumption can help address food security as global populations rise, while having a far lower impact on the environment.

Image of fish and cow

Ocean-raised salmon REQUIRES LESS FRESH WATER than other proteins. This helps protect fresh water resources and supplies.

Fish swimming on Coral

The salmon industry HELPS PEOPLE by generating employment and economic growth. From 10%-12% of the world’s population depend on aquatic foods for their livelihoods. In the Patagonia region of Chile, salmon farming drives the economy, directly employing approximately 20,000 people, and indirectly employing an estimated 40,000.

Workers at a salmon processing facility

Farmed salmon has a LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT. Studies show that aquaculture is climate-friendly, requiring fewer crops and less land area than non-marine protein production.

Image of feet

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need farmed salmon?

Nearly 90 percent of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted.1 Farmed seafood provides half of all the fish we eat in the world. If we pulled that amount of seafood out of wild fisheries, we would deplete sea-life species that are important to ensuring a healthy ocean.

The farming of fish, also known as aquaculture, reduces pressure on certain over-stressed wild stocks and is key to solving this pressing environmental challenge.

Is farmed salmon as healthy as wild salmon?

Yes. Farmed salmon has become a staple of healthy and affordable diets around the world.2 Farmed salmon and wild salmon have been shown to offer the same overall nutritional value.3 Both are good sources of protein. Compared to wild salmon, farmed salmon contains more omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered health-protecting, good fats.4 Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood is associated with many health benefits, including a lower risk of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.5

How do salmon farms impact the environment?

Chilean salmon are raised in a particularly beautiful part of the world, the Chilean Patagonia, where the waters are chilled by Antarctic currents, creating a perfect environment for salmon to grow. It is a region of our country that makes us proud and we are committed to protecting it.

There are many things we do to ensure we are raising our fish sustainably. For one, we rotate our farms regularly to provide the environment with extended fallow periods. Federal regulations in Chile require limits to the number of farms and farming neighborhoods that can be operational in a year, ensuring operations are rotated regularly to protect the seabed.

In addition, many of our farms are participating in the World Wildlife Fund’s “Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue,” which is setting standards to ensure aquaculture sustainability based on scientific research and economic viability. We also give back to our communities through environmental stewardship initiatives, such as beach cleaning activities and recycling programs.

Beyond these voluntary initiatives, our farms are highly regulated and audited to comply with strict international standards, as verified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2019. In Chile, all salmon farming also operates in compliance with the terms of the Environmental Evaluation Approval, as closely regulated by the State’s Environmental Regulator and the Chilean National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service. Unlike many governing bodies, the Chilean government has the legal authority to prohibit farming in areas where the habitat is no longer optimal.

What do farmed salmon eat?

While precise feed makeup varies from farm to farm, Chilean salmon are fed a balanced and nutrient-dense diet to ensure healthy and hearty development. This typically includes a mix of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. As part of our commitment to protecting the precious environment in which we live and work, we are always looking for new ways to maximize the nutrition value of our salmon feed with sustainable business practices.

Is farmed salmon raised humanely?

Yes. In Chile, we do everything we can to treat our salmon with integrity throughout their lifecycle. Born in the Chilean Patagonia, our salmon are raised in extremely favorable natural conditions that help them grow and flourish.

Our growers maintain some of the lowest salmon mortality rates in the industry, handling each fish with the utmost care. In fact, Chile’s aquaculture system is already one of the most modern in the world as salmon production is relatively new to the country. After a recent revamp, it now serves as a global model of sanitation, low mortality, and other best practices for the industry.

Chile also has some of the strictest regulations when it comes to throughput and pen density, permitting 30 percent less density than the maximum permitted in Norway.

How does farmed salmon get its bright color?

Both farmed and wild salmon get their coloring from food sources containing antioxidant-rich astaxanthin. Crustaceans–a dietary staple for wild salmon–are rich in astaxanthin, which is also added to the feed of farmed salmon to keep them healthy. By the time a piece of farmed salmon reaches the consumer, it may feature a “color-added” label even though no dyes are used in raising it. This is because some countries require labeling of any dietary supplement, in this case astaxanthin, that adds color to the final food product. Astaxanthin also provides a number of benefits for human health, including healthier skin, heart health and reduced joint pain.

Is farmed salmon more or less sustainable than other animal proteins?

By many measures, farmed salmon is one of the most sustainable animal proteins. A common gauge of environmental impact is how efficiently an animal can turn its food into protein–or in scientific terms, its feed-conversion ratio, the estimated food required to gain 1 pound of body mass. Of all the animal proteins, fish are the most efficient at converting protein.12

Farm-raised fish, which have one of the lowest feed-conversion ratios of all seafood, need just 1.2 to 1.5 pound of feed to produce 1 pound of body mass.12 For reference, it takes 6 to 10 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of beef, 2 to 5 pounds to produce one pound of pork, and 1.7 to 2 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of chicken.13

Put another way, raising farmed salmon is about two times more efficient than raising chicken, three times more efficient than raising pork, and seven times more efficient than raising beef.13

How does Chile's salmon industry impact Chileans?

As Chileans who are also part of the country’s vibrant salmon industry, we are always looking for ways to contribute to our people and our country.

The salmon industry is the largest driver of economy in the Chilean Patagonia (regions 10, 11, 12). Our industry has created economic growth, political stability, and supported the creation of more than 4,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises and over 70,000 jobs, helping to propel the nation’s overall growth. In Chile’s southern regions, we have helped provide jobs and infrastructure, such as schools, leaving a lasting impact on the local communities in which we live and work.

The Chileans our industry supports are also our neighbors, our families, and our friends. We are proud of the work we’ve done to revitalize our collective communities, fill our plates with a fresh, nutritious and sustainable protein source, and advance our country’s image as a leading international food producer.

Should I worry about PCBs, dioxins and other trace chemicals in farmed salmon?

No. While studies from past decades have reported high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in farmed salmon7, follow-up longer-term studies have found the opposite and the consensus among scientists and regulators today is that farmed salmon is a safe and healthy food source. In fact, a recent study found that “levels of dioxins, PCBs, OCPs (DDT, dieldrin, lindane, chlordane, Mirex, and toxaphene), and mercury were higher in wild salmon than in farmed salmon, as were the concentrations of the essential elements selenium, copper, zinc and iron, and the marine omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).”8

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates tolerances of 2.0 parts per million–which equates to a concentration of 2 milligrams per liter of water–for PCBs in fish, including farmed salmon.9 The level of PCBs for farmed salmon are consistently well below this level.10 Chilean farmed salmon has been shown to contain even lower traces of these components than North American farmed samples.10

Are there antibiotics in Chilean salmon?

There are naturally occurring bacteria that periodically turn up in the waters of the Chilean Patagonia. These bacteria are harmful–and in some cases fatal–to salmon. To protect the fish, antibiotics are used when these bacteria make fish sick, but only with a veterinary prescription and never as a growth stimulant or preventive measure. Any antibiotic use is completed well before harvest so we can be sure the fish we bring to market are antibiotic-free. Treatment is conducted in compliance with World Health Organization guidelines.14 Though Chilean fish can be treated with antibiotics when sick, the fish is antibiotic-free when it arrives in the U.S. market. This is required by U.S. law. For their part, both importing countries and Chile’s regulatory bodies maintain oversight and authorize all antibiotic use in the country’s salmon industry.

As Chilean salmon growers, we are on a path to reducing and eventually eliminating the use of antibiotics altogether. Research is being done to identify an effective vaccine and many farms are evaluating relocating farms to the colder regions of Patagonia where the bacteria are not present. In addition, we are working in collaboration with the Seafood Watch team from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to reduce current use by 50 percent by 2025 as part of a comprehensive program that will expand ecologically responsible aquaculture practices and support the sustainability of the Chilean Patagonia.

Should I worry about mercury in farmed salmon?

No. Farmed and wild salmon are both low in mercury, and wild salmon has been shown to carry higher traces than farmed salmon.8 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorizes any fish with less than 0.05 parts per million of mercury per serving (4 ounces) as not only safe to eat, but a “best choice” among seafood.11 According to EPA research, fresh and frozen salmon contains just 0.02 ppm of mercury per serving, making it a “best choice” for consumption.11

1. Kituyi, M., & Thomson, P. (2018, July 13). 90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop emptying the ocean. Retrieved July, 2019, from

2. International Salmon Farmers Association 2018 Report. (n.d.). Retrieved July, 2019, from

3. Cahu, C., Salen, P., & De Lorgeril, M. (2004). Farmed and wild fish in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Assessing possible differences in lipid nutritional values. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases,14(1), 34-41. Retrieved July, 2019, from

4. Cladis, Kleiner, Freiser, & Santerre. (2014). Fatty acid profiles of commercially available finfish fillets in the United States. Lipids,49(10). Retrieved July, 2019, from

5. Rimm, E., Appel, L., Chiuve, S., Djousee, L., Engler, M., Kris-Etherton, P., . . . Lichtenstein, A. (2018). Seafood Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation,138(1). Retrieved July, 2019.

6. Haspel. (2013, September 24). Farmed vs. wild salmon: Can you taste the difference? The Washington Post. Retrieved July, 2019, from utm_term=.26eb8eb58669

7. Hites, R., Foran, J., Schwager, S., Knuth, B., Hamilton, C., & Carpenter, D. (2004). Global Assessment of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Farmed and Wild Salmon. Environmental Science & Technology,38(19). Retrieved July, 2019, from

8. Lundebye, Lock, Rasinger, Nostbakken, Hannisdal, Karlsbakk, . . . Ornsrud. (2017). Lower levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants, metals and the marine omega 3-fatty acid DHA in farmed compared to wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Environmental Research,155, 49-59. Retrieved July, 2019, from

9. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Toxicity What Standards and Regulations Exist for PCB Exposure? (n.d.). Retrieved July, 2019, from

10. Montory, M., Habit, E., Fernandez, P., Grimalt, J., & Bama, R. (2010). PCBs and PBDEs in wild Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Northern Patagonia, Chile. Chemosphere,78(10), 1193-1199. Retrieved July, 2019, from

11. EPA-FDA Fish Advice: Technical Information. (n.d.). Retrieved July, 2019, from

12. Bourne, J., Jr. (n.d.). How to Farm a Better Fish. National Geographic. Retrieved July, 2019, from

13. Global Salmon Initiative Sustainability Report. (n.d.). Retrieved July, 2019, from