Stress and Depression Seen in Farmed Salmon


Health salmon at the top. Depressed one at the bottom

Many farm-raised salmon exhibit behaviors and brain chemistry nearly identical to those of very stressed and depressed people, according to a new study with implications for animal welfare and treatment of mental illness in humans.

The research, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, could help to explain why so many fish farms have “drop out” or “loser fish” that have stunted growth and listlessly float at the surface of tanks, seemingly wanting to die.

“I would not go so far as to say they are committing suicide, but physiologically speaking, they are on the edge of what they can tolerate, and since they remain in this environment, they end up dying because of their condition,” lead author Marco Vindas, of the University of Gothenburg, told Discovery News.

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