Salmon farming is really no different than any other large agribusiness crop - it is a globalized industry, several large corporations operate nearly all of the farms, and regulation is only now beginning to catch up to safety concerns. But there is good news on that front. A 91 page document, to be implemented later this year by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, documents 100 fish farming standards, which are likely to transform the world of farmed salmon. The standards are not manditory, but any farm abiding by the standards will be considered ASC certified, and likely given a marketing boost.
The ASC is made up of a conglomeration of environmental organizations, fishing unions, and government liasons. Possibly the greatest triumph of the new standards is the degree of transparency the regulations create. Getting data from salmon-farming operations has been incredibly difficult, and so understanding the industry trends has been nearly impossible. With more than 70% of all consumer purchased salmon eminating from farms, this transparency is essential to the continuing processes of ensuring consumer safety, limiting environmental damage, and ensuring the sustainability of the industry.
The First Global Standards for Salmon Fishing from The New York Times Diner's Journal