Why Is Salmon So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Maisie Hughes

Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

Salmon is one of the most delicious types of fish in the world. Not only that, but it’s also full of nutrients, protein, and healthy fats.

The only problem is that salmon is one of the most expensive fish you can buy. So, you’re probably wondering, why is salmon so expensive? Let’s dive in.

Why Is Salmon So Expensive?


1. Catching Salmon Is A Tough Job

While both wild salmon and farmed salmon are expensive, wild salmon tends to be more expensive. The reason behind this is simply that catching wild salmon is extremely difficult.

First and foremost, salmon fish have thick jaws. So, to catch some salmon, you can’t use any dull hooks, just sharp ones.

Second, you’ll need to know when salmon is moving in a specific area and get there at the right time to catch some.

There are also many techniques involved in catching salmon, as normal baits might not attract them.

Moreover, many destinations that contain a relatively high number of salmon have rules against using nets. So, fishermen catch salmon with a rod and reel, which can be more time-consuming.

Not to mention that even professional fishermen struggle with catching salmon. So, why would fishers waste more time and effort on catching salmon, when they can catch other fish easily?

That’s simply because they get paid well for the salmon they catch. So, if salmon were cheap, they wouldn’t waste the time and the effort for a small profit.

2. Salmon Is Incredibly Nutritious

Salmon doesn’t only indulge your taste buds, it’s also extremely healthy for your body. It’s full of essential fatty acids that your body needs.

These fatty acids are essential because your body doesn’t make them. So, you need to take them from your diet.

Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega-3 is known to lower blood pressure and enhance the function of the heart. It also plays an important role in making your hair, skin, and nails healthier.

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Additionally, salmon is rich in high-quality protein and vitamin B. What’s best about salmon is that it contains healthy, unsaturated fat, not the kind of fat that’s bad for your health.

These components combined are known to lower the risks of having many health issues and dangerous diseases, including heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and some types of cancer.

Many medications and multi-vitamins are made with some of these components. So, who wouldn’t love to eat a delicious plate of salmon and enjoy all these health benefits?

That’s one of the reasons why there’s a huge demand for salmon.

3. The Increasing Demand For Salmon

Simply put, higher demand leads to an increase in the price. Demand for salmon is steadily increasing, even with its already expensive price.

Everyone loves salmon. In addition to how tasty it is, there are many other reasons for the increasing demand for salmon.

First, salmon is an extremely versatile food. It’s the main ingredient in countless delicious recipes out there that many people want to try.

Second, salmon is incredibly beneficial to your health. Additionally, the more people learn about salmon, the more they want to try it.

To meet the rising demand for salmon, farmed salmon was the only solution.

4. Salmon Farms Require High Maintenance

The problem with salmon farms is that they require high maintenance, and it still won’t be enough to produce salmon as good as wild salmon.

That’s because no type of fish or animal does well in captivity, even if you provide them with living conditions close to their natural habitat.

Additionally, most farmed salmon won’t grow to be as healthy and strong as wild salmon.

In other words, salmon farms need to have high quality standards.

Additionally, salmon farms need to provide the farmed salmon with all their needs to produce high-quality salmon, which comes at a high price.

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5. Salmon Is A Keystone Species

The life cycle of salmon is interconnected with many other species. In other words, they’re a key part of the ecosystem in which they live.

Salmon is an integrated part of the food chain. Accordingly, salmon is a keystone species.

Salmon eats herring, shrimps, crayfish, worms, and many other creatures. Alternatively, bears, bass, eagles, seal, and sharks eat salmon.

So, if you take salmon out of this equation, there’ll be a huge disturbance in the ecosystem balance.

Also, as surprising as it may sound, some forests rely on salmon to grow. Salmon provides around 20% of the plants’ Nitrogen needs.

You must be wondering how these two are connected. The answer is simple, bears catch salmon and bring them into forests to feed on them.

Salmon remains decompose and provide nutrients, including nitrogen, for the plant life around this area.

As a result, many countries around the globe heavily regulate salmon fishing. That’s also why commercial and recreational fishing for wild King Fish, or Atlantic salmon, is illegal in the U.S.

6. The Supply Chain Increases The Price

The Supply Chain Increases The Price

The supply chain is simply every individual, organization, activity, and technology involved in selling the salmon. It’s normal for the supply chain to drive up the price of the product.

The problem with salmon is that it’s the easiest to catch or transport. It all builds up and increases the price of salmon significantly.

7. Lack Of Similar Alternatives

Salmon is extremely unique. It’s hard to find another fish that tastes as good as salmon or has the same amount of health benefits.

While there are many types of fish that are healthy and tasty, nothing comes close to fresh wild salmon. In fact, some people don’t like farmed salmon and prefer to only eat wild salmon.

8. Salmon Fine Dining

You can find at least one salmon dish in any fine dining recipe. In fact, the image of a tasty plate of salmon is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when you say, “fine dining”.

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As a result, salmon is becoming more and more expensive just because we believe that it should be that expensive.

9. Overfishing Of Salmon

The number of salmon has significantly decreased in the past years. That’s simply due to overfishing salmon.

Although salmon is hard to catch, fishermen continue to overfish salmon for the great profit they receive. Salmon populations are depleting everywhere, except for Alaska.

10. Long Distance Transportation

The more distance the fish must travel, the more expensive it will be. To simplify, fish needs to be kept at low temperatures and get transported as soon as possible to keep it fresh.

Whether salmon is transported by air, sea, or land, it requires a special kind of packaging.

Moreover, vacuum bags and Styrofoam boxes with ice are two of the most common ways salmon is packaged in.

11. Farmed Salmon Is Prone To Disease

Farmed salmon is prone to getting infected with diseases and parasites. So, that drives the price of wild salmon higher.

Additionally, farming healthy salmon is hard and expensive. That’s why you should never eat undercooked, low-quality salmon.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why oysters are so expensive, why sablefish is so expensive, and why oxtails are so expensive.

Conclusion

Salmon is one of the most expensive types of fish in the world. Do you want to know why is salmon so expensive?

Salmon is extremely hard to catch. Also, there’s an exploding demand for salmon. Additionally, farmed salmon requires high maintenance, and it will still be prone to many diseases.

Author

  • Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

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