The Salmonidae family includes the genera Salmo, Oncorhynchus, and Salvelinus, comprising the salmon, trout, and char. Atlantic salmon have been held in culture for release in rivers since the 1800s, and in a farming situation for food production since the 1960s. Atlantic salmon make up the greatest part of the world production of the various salmon species, 1,025,287 T in 2001.[1] Four countries Norway, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Canada produce almost 90% (Fig. 1), the rest being produced by eight other countries. Of the Pacific salmon species, the production of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) (151,386 T in 2001) is greatest, 90% of it being produced by Chile (Fig. 2).[1]

The production of Atlantic salmon has increased as a result of greater numbers of fish being farmed using continuously improved genetic material, nutrition, and management. The cost of production per kg round weight (not including slaughter and packaging costs) in 1997 was US $2.495 in Norway and US $1.986 in Chile, the main differences being smolt costs and undefined miscellaneous costs.[2] Feed (including pigments, vitamins, medication, and feed transport) accounted for 51% of the production costs in Norway and 61% in Chile.[2] In 2001 in Norway, 306,328 kg salmon were produced in the sea-phase per man-year, a 58% increase from 1997.[3]

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