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Argentina is first country to ban salmon farming over sustainability concerns

Argentina made history this past week as the first country in the world to ban salmon farming due to concerns about sustainability and its impact on natural ecosystems.

Salmon farms (and fish farms in general) spread parasites such as sea lice among each other and to wild marine life. To address this, farmers use antibiotics, but the antibiotics are impossible to contain so nothing stops them from entering the surrounding waters and contributing to antibiotic resistance in both marine life and those who consume them (including humans).

This is particularly problematic in Argentina and Chile because salmon are a foreign species in their seas. Estafanía González of Greenpeace says this means that “the amount of chemicals and antibiotics that are needed for their production and the impact they generate on the ecosystem makes it practically impossible for [salmon farming] to be carried out without environmental consequences.”

With this in mind, lawmakers in the Argentinian province of Tierra del Fuego unanimously approved the bill to ban salmon farming—a historic decision that will hopefully inspire other countries to follow suit.

According to González, “in the eyes of the world, [Argentina] manages to take a tremendous step towards protecting the ecosystem and also its culture.”

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