Farmed salmon should be sterilised to prevent their genes crossing into wild populations, a university study claims.
Genetically different captive salmon often escape, Professor Matt Gage from the University of East Anglia said.
Farmed fish are less adept at dealing with predators, a trait that could hit wild populations, he said.
Salmon farmers say escaped fish offer no threat because they have almost no chance of survival. They say sterilisation is economically unviable.
Chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation, Scott Landsburgh, said: “Effective containment of fish is a fundamental part of good fish farming.
“The industry makes huge efforts to improve containment standards.”
The possibility of sterilising the fish has been “under consideration for some time”, he said.
“However, projects to look at viability continue to return serious questions of fish welfare and economic viability.”
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