If you love eating salmon, we have bad news: It's getting more expensive by the day. According to news reports, the cost of salmon per pound has surged and is continuing to rise, thanks to a large-scale global infestation of sea lice. (Ugh!)
According to news reports and data from the Nasdaq Salmon index, the price of this popular fish has soared more than 15 percent in the last three months. And Norwegian salmon prices have risen 40 percent from 2015 to 2016.
Sea lice--tiny crustaceans that attach themselves to salmon--have been around as long as salmon have existed, but are becoming a growing problem because of climate change and the increased practice of large-scale salmon farming. (Because the salmon live in crowded fish pens, it allows the sea lice to spread quickly and thrive. While adult salmon are relatively unaffected by these parasites, young salmon are much more vulnerable.)
An algae bloom off the coast of Chile in 2016, which killed more than 135,000 tons of salmon, has also likely contributed to the rising cost of salmon.
Some salmon farmers are now trying to use pesticides to fight the problem; others are working on developing large-size farms so that fish are not crowded together.
But until a solution is found, salmon-lovers may just have to find good seafood substitutes like arctic char or ocean trout. And don't forget other vegetarian foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are good for heart health and glowing skin, like nuts and flax seeds.
While we're bummed out about the high cost of salmon, the upside is that it might force us to try new foods and recipes, right?