In the early 1970s, a group of scientists researched how to make more food for the population of the world. They looked to the sea.
They sampled genes from salmon in 41 Norwegian and Swedish rivers, and designed a new salmon that was fatter, more docile, and faster growing.
This was the beginning of a new industry - salmon farming.
The industry spread from coastal Norway to Scotland, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Chile, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Jobs were created, business boomed and salmon farmers became extremely rich. A new type of food, the salmon sushi, spread around the globe.
But as soon as this new fish was let loose in nature, unexpected things started to happen. Wild salmon stocks disappeared, diseases spread in salmon farms, salmon louse swarmed and the new industry became highly contested.
In a prizewinning five-year investigation, authors Simen Sætre and Kjetil Østli has taken a closer look at the global salmon industry. For the first time, the global history of salmon farming is told. The result combines nature writing from Norwegian fjords, the coast of Canada, Icelandic landscapes and the far south of Chile with classical muckraking and character-driven literary non-fiction.
The authors start out with a question: What happens when you place a new animal in the sea?
This book will tell you the answer.
Lies and torture – This book about salmon farming is exceptional investigative journalism.
Five stars out of six
The story about «The New Fish» is necessary, readable and will provoke far into the corridors of Power.
Five stars out of six
Close to 52 million salmon die in the fish cages every year. The new fish cannot complain, it has no voice, but it never shuts his eye. Some of what they see is conveyed by Sætre and Østli in this moving and upsetting book. Well done.
This is top-class journalism. They ask open questions without moralizing, with an underlying critical gaze.
The New Fish is the story about how the Norwegian governing powers, administration research and politicians forgot the division of roles and in a disastrous way was involved in promoting the interests of the salmon farming industry. Almost at any cost, and with no consideration for other interests, such as environment, eco systems or animal welfare – and maybe even the health of people.
DAG OG TID
This modern Icarus tale about Man’s attempt to tame the salmon is probably the most important political debate book published this year.
Klassekampen, Mimir Kristjansson
A bombshell title that gives a broad view of the aquaculture industry; its history, methods and media strategies. The book is both indignant and clear, and points far beyond Norway’s navel-gazing fairy tales about how salmon should solve the world’s food problems.
Dagbladet, Jon Rognlien
The text is captivating and exciting, without compromising the book’s seriousness.
Jakt & fiske, Ole Kirkemo
The New fish is a much-needed review of the billion-dollar industry that is Norwegian salmon farming. But more than that it is also an equally exciting and well-written story about man´s cynical and at times mindless march towards domination over nature. This is a book that risks seriously clouding you joy the next time you find crazy cheap salmon in the deep freezer in your store.
Patrik Svensson – author of international bestseller The Book of Eels
You will choke on your sushi, or at least it will lose its taste, if you are one of us who care about ecology, animal welfare and democracy. Exemplary researched and masterly written. This book is this year’s most important non-fiction publication.
Morten Strøksnes – author of international bestseller Shark Drunk
The New Fish is an in-depth and brave expose of the dark secrets of the salmon farming industry. I have great respect for Kjetil S. Østli and Simen Sætre. They demonstrate the best of investigative writing despite aggressive reputation of this industry.
Alexandra Morton – author of Listening to Whales and Not on My Watch – and probably the world’s biggest salmon activist
Industrial salmon farming will, in time, come to be seen as the most destructive form of factory farming yet invented, a horrific endpoint of the twentieth century’s obsession with profit no matter the cost. Around the world, the salmon industry’s methods, technology, political influence and dubious product are coming under increasing question and attack. This important book tells the truth hidden beneath the dark waters: it explains what happened, how it happened, and why it must be stopped.
Richard Flanagan –author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North and winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014
Industrial salmon farming is an ecological travesty and a moral tragedy, and this book is a powerful and timely expose of an industry driven by profit and not much else. It should be required reading for anyone who includes salmon on their menu. Reading it reminded me, time and again, that I made the right decision 35 years ago when I stopped eating fish.
Jonathan Balcombe - author of Super Fly, and the international bestseller What a Fish Knows