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Pack of Fish

Recirculating Aquaculture

State-of-the-art, sustainable technology

Open net-pen salmon aquaculture is a major threat to wild Atlantic salmon. We want to keep wild rivers healthy to protect wild fish and their habitat. Recirculating, land-based aquaculture is a sustainable alternative. 

What is recirculating aquaculture?

Land-based fish farming was first developed in the 1950s in Japan, then in the 1970s and 80s in Europe. Early systems were designed for eels and other species, then Atlantic salmon gradually became the world's most valuable aquaculture species and research began to investigate the feasibility of land-based salmon farming. Land-based systems were first used as hatcheries to grow young salmon (smolts) that would be transferred to open netpens for grow-out to commercial size. Recently, technologies were finally developed to grow salmon from start to finish on land. Land-based systems involve an array of tanks linked by pipes to pumping and filtration systems. Water flows through and can be re-circulated with clean, oxygenated water for optimum health of salmon. Up to 99.9% of water can be recycled and the whole system is separated from the marine environment.


Aquaculture Salmon

are not all created equally


Open net-pen systems

Unsustainable for wild rivers

  • Aquaculture escapes

  • Sea lice

  • Diseases

  • Pollution

Land-based systems

Sustainable for wild rivers

  • Completely contained

  • No potential for escapes

  • No disease or lice transmission

  • Lower carbon footprint

What is your role?

Everyone shares responsibility for keeping our wild rivers healthy. Learn how you can help below:


Consumers / Public

Retail stores and Restaurants



Land-raised salmon near you

Search the map below

Click on a marker to learn more about land-based RAS organizations in North America.

Contact Us

The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is a world-leading science and advocacy organization dedicated to conserving and restoring wild Atlantic salmon.


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