Atlantic Salmon
Salmo salar

Adult Atlantic salmon with black-tipped fins, black spots along its back, and a silvery-white belly, laying on its side against a white background.

Edward Westmacott/Shutterstock

Once caught only in the wild, Atlantic salmon is the most popular farmed fish in Canada today. It is nutritious, delicious, and profitable to farm.

Farmers in orange coveralls walk between large circular concrete tanks filled with salmon, at an indoor facility.

Sustainable Blue

Farmed Atlantic salmon is different from its wild cousin. It was first domesticated in Norway, and has been bred to grow faster.

How Was the Atlantic Salmon Domesticated?

Small, young salmon with black and brown spots on their silver bodies swim along the rocky bottom of a stream.

Norwegian scientists and fish farmers selected and bred salmon for desired traits, such as rapid growth. After several generations and a lot of crossbreeding, they had a species of salmon better suited to farming.

Can You Tell the Difference?

An Atlantic salmon on crushed ice, with rounded grey body with black spots, black fins, and a wide tail.

Sustainable Blue

Farmed Atlantic salmon are rounder than wild salmon. They also often have a higher fat content than wild salmon, and can be a different colour.

An Atlantic salmon lying on its side on pebbles, with streamlined silver body speckled with small black spots, grey fins with black tips, and a short tail.

© Camij/Dreamstime

Wild Atlantic salmon tend to look leaner, and are more muscular than farmed salmon. They often have a lower fat content.