The AquAdvantage Salmon is an Atlantic salmon that has DNA in its genome from two other fish. The GMO salmon has a few advantages over its conventionally farmed counterpart.
Their faster growth means AquAdvantage salmon also consume 25% less feed in their lifetime than conventionally farmed salmon, AquaBounty cofounder Elliot Entis told the Colombia Earth Institute.
Conventionally farmed salmon are fed three pounds of other fish for every pound of salmon that ends up on our dinner plate.
Genetically modified salmon need less than three-quarters of that, since half of the AquAdvantage salmon feed can come from plants without affecting their growth, according to the Earth Institute article.
On the environmental forefront, critics worried that the GMO fish could escape, out-compete wild salmon and contaminate wild stocks.
The thermal and physical barriers of their Panamanian facility, “Render the possibility of survival outside the facility virtually impossible,” the company wrote in their FAQ. Eventually, when farmers do switch to AquAdvantage fish, they will also need to switch to AquAdvantage methods – land based tanks far from salmon habitat rather than the ocean sea pens used for conventionally farmed salmon.