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The New Salmon Question: To Farm or Not to Farm?

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Early last week, quite the controversy was stirred when salmon was curiously spotted on Fish & Farm's menu. As it turned out, the salmon on the F&F menu was/is from Scotland's Loch Duart fish farm. Already a hot topic given the monumental ban and brought up again today by the Chronicle, the salmon question is a key one being faced by local restaurants—and diners too—these days: serve farm-raised salmon or take the popular fish off the menu, instead opting for other alternatives? To review, owner Frank Klein is staunchly in the camp that supports the Scottish farm as a viable salmon source:

The chefs and I decided to use Loch Duart salmon which is sustainably farmed in ocean pens to prove the point that you can STOP harming local environments and get something from afar that will aid in the stopping of the destruction of the local Salmon ... It's far too old school to think "farmed raised" fish is all bad--that's so last year and not an educated opinion.
But lo and behold, not all chefs are taking the Loch Duart route.

Falling on the other side of the fence when it comes to the farming question is Patricia Unterman of Hayes Street Grill:

Unterman is among those chefs who won't be buying farmed salmon. "Its quality is OK," says Unterman of the Loch Duart. "But even Loch Duart is not a sustainable solution." She says she is concerned about the conversion ratio - the many pounds of small ocean fish it takes to produce a pound of farmed salmon - and believes that the farms haven't resolved the pollution challenges.
Taking a similar point of view is Waterbar's Parke Ulrich, who simply serves what's available:
Ulrich won't buy farmed salmon because of its poor environmental record and says that high-priced Alaskan wild salmon won't fit the restaurant's needs. "I'd rather skip it," she says.
Restaurants will be more or less split on the salmon question for now. Some will stick with Loch Duart, while others will opt for local alternatives as mentioned in the Chron (coho, petrale, et al.). However, one thing the article doesn't address is the diners' point of view on the matter: rightly or wrongly, is there still a stigma attached to farmed salmon? And how should restaurants handle the situation?
· Goodbye, king - hello, coho [Chron]
· Fish & Farm on the Salmon Question: "This Is Our Point." [~ESF~]
· Spotted: Mysterious Local Salmon at Fish & Farm? [~ESF~]

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