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Dieren en planten

Water en land

  • Dut: Zalm
  • Lat: Salmo salar
  • Eng: AtlanticSalmon
  • Ger: Lachs
  • Fren: Saumon
  • Dan: Atlanter havslaks(laks)
  • Nor: Laks


Salmon can grow very large: up to 1.5 meters long. They eat herring, smelt and crustaceans. The first years of life is spent in fresh water, after which they migrate to sea. After 1 to 3 years at sea, they migrate back to their place of birth to spawn. There is little known about where they stay at sea. From marked specimen, it appears that a large number of salmon migrate to waters around Greenland, thousands of kilometers from their spawning grounds.

  • Disappearance

    Salmon has practically disappeared from Dutch waters. One is caught every once in awhile. That has not always been the case. There was a prosperous salmon industry in the river regions up into the 19th century. Nowadays, there are attempts to bring back the salmon in the Rhine, however it hasn't been very successful as of yet. Many salmon cannot find their birthplace due to the many obstacles in the form of sluices and other waterworks. Pollution, illegal fisheries and the increasing water temperature in the rivers don't help the situation much.

  • Salmon fisheries in the Netherlands

    The salmon fisheries in the Dutch rivers reached a peak at the end of the 19th century. The catches were so great that salmon was considered food for the poor. The catches have since diminished and in the 1950s salmon was only sporadically caught in the Dutch rivers.

    (Sport) fisheries for salmon have been banned since 1 June 2000. Should a salmon be caught, it must be thrown back immediately and cannot be brought to shore. The ultimate purpose is to restore the population in the rivers of Western Europe.

  • Salmon cultivation

    Salmon farming has been taking place for more than fifteen years in countries such as Norway, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Canada and Chili. Much more is farmed than caught in the wild. There are a number of problems with farming salmon. The salmon live very close together in the nurseries. Fish louse, a parasite also found on wild salmon, can easily spread among farmed salmon. The louse is combated with heavy toxic insecticides, which also kill plankton. The fish farmers also use a cocktail of anti-biotics, hormone disorderlies, organophosphates and anti-fouling to prevent diseases and algae growth. All of these materials produce an enormous amount of pollution in the vicinity of the farms.

    Another problem is farmed salmon that escape and mix with wild salmon. Millions of cultivated salmon have already escaped in Norway. These fish contaminate wild salmon with diseases.

  • Pink color

    Salmon meat is pink because wild salmon eat shrimp. However, farmed salmon are not given shrimp to eat so their meat is not pink. However, fish farmers add coloring to the fish food to give farmed salmon a pink coloring.

  • Migration of a salmon
    Migration routes of salmon, Ecomare