Canned Salmon: Why It Is a Better Choice Than Tuna

Canned Salmon: Why It Is a Better Choice Than Tuna

Anjali Prasertong
Aug 16, 2011

When it comes to canned fish, we know that tuna is not the best choice based on its often unsustainable fishing methods and high levels of toxins like mercury. But what is a better alternative? Sustainable seafood expert Paul Greenberg says canned salmon is the better choice for three important reasons.

We know how many salmon there are and how many we can catch. Because salmon return to the same place every year to spawn, it is easier to count the population and figure out the number of salmon that can be caught each year without long-term damage to their numbers.

We know how to catch salmon without significantly hurting the marine environment. Greenberg says we have figured out how to responsibly catch salmon using methods that do not harm other fish. Although marine mammals are occasionally caught in the nets, it is not nearly as bad as the longlines used for tuna, which can be hundreds of miles in length and ensnare sea turtles and sharks.

The species of salmon used in canned salmon eat lower on the food chain than tuna, and are thus lower in toxins. While the kinds of tuna used for canning are not the largest of the family, they are still higher on the food chain than the pinks, chums and sockeyes used for canned salmon, which prey on small crustaceans and plankton.

Read more: A Tale of Two Cans: Why Canned Salmon Is Better Than Tuna at the Atlantic

Do you eat canned salmon? Do you have any other recommended alternatives to canned tuna?

Related: What Are Good Recipes To Make With Canned Salmon?

(Image: Flickr member muyfifi licensed under Creative Commons)

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