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Summary

A Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and a former private investigator dive deep into the murky waters of the international salmon farming industry, exposing the unappetizing truth about a fish that is not as good for you as you have been told.

A decade ago, farmed Atlantic salmon replaced tuna as the most popular fish on America’s dinner tables. We are told salmon is healthy and environmentally friendly. The reality is different. Almost all salmon sold in markets and restaurants are raised in floating feedlots that pollute our oceans and risk our health.

In Salmon Wars: The Dark Underbelly of America's Favorite Fish, investigative journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins document how a handful of multinationals transformed salmon farming into our generation’s version of Big Tobacco by concealing health risks and attacking critics. The authors go beneath the water’s surface where millions of salmon are crammed into parasite-plagued cages and fed a chemical-laced diet. The authors document the spread of diseases that threatens the declining population of wild salmon. They take listeners inside hatcheries, where young salmon are treated like garbage, and to the farms that threaten our fragile coasts. They draw vivid portraits of characters like the big salmon farmer who poisoned his own backyard, the fly-fishing activist who risked everything to ban salmon farms in the Puget Sound, and the American researcher driven out of Norway for raising alarms about dangerous contaminants in salmon. Finally, the authors chart the future of a salmon farming industry that does not harm the environment or ourselves. What’s at stake, Frantz and Collins explain, is our health, the health of our children, and the health of our planet.

Just as Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation caused people to reexamine their relationship with the Big Mac, the vivid stories, scientific research, and high-stakes finance at the heart of Salmon Wars will inspire listeners to make choices that protect our health and our planet.

©2022 Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

Salmon Wars is a deep dive into the damage caused by current fish-farming methods to ocean environments, wild fish and their habitats, and the farmed fish themselves. It is also an account of the dismal failure of governments to stop such practices. Salmon farming needs reform. Until it gets it, read this book, and you will never eat farmed salmon again.”—Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, emerita, at New York University and author of What to Eat

“From cigarettes being tossed in a salmon pen to dark murky waters filled with litter, this is how America’s favorite fish are being ‘cared for.’ Salmon Wars will open your eyes to cruelty that parallels puppy mills and all the things we, as Americans, stand against. Frantz and Collins have delivered a book that you will not put down—bravo!”—Allen Ricca, author of Catching Hell: The Insider Story of Seafood from Ocean to Plate 

“A vital act of reclamation.”—The New York Times 

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