Farmed Vs Wild Salmon – Cost & Availbility
In our previous post we wrote about the culinary attributes of both farm-raised and wild salmon. But, there are other factors to consider when choosing which salmon to buy at the store, such as cost and seasonality.
What’s the price difference: farmed salmon vs wild salmon?
There are salmon farms with industry-leading practices that produce premium fish, and those fish do fetch higher market prices. Make sure to learn more about the farm’s standards and practices, and if you see something that seems too good to be true from a cost standpoint, it likely is.
With wild salmon, price is largely a supply and demand issue. Fresh, wild salmon is generally more expensive than farmed salmon because demand exceeds supply. There are five major wild salmon species that are sold commercially, and all at differing prices based on their quality, the region they were caught, the fishing method used, the time of year they were caught, and how they were handled, processed, and delivered to the market. Generally, wild salmon can cost 3-4 times more per pound than farmed salmon.
What is the availability of farmed salmon vs wild salmon?
The biggest difference between the two is fresh, farmed salmon is always available regardless of the time of year. Typically, fresh, wild salmon is only available in the spring and summer months, but there are some exceptions to this (previously frozen wild sockeye salmon can almost always be found at grocery stores).
Overall Cost and Availability:
- Generally lower price
- Available year-round (fresh and frozen)
- Only a few salmon species are farmed in large numbers (Atlantic & King), although there is a small production of other salmon species
- Longer shelf life
- Generally higher cost
- Available Seasonally (spring & summer) – unless previously frozen or frozen
- Greater number of species available during the season
- Not always available in local grocery stores even during season, due to the generally high demand
- Shorter shelf life
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