From massive salmon contract changes at major retailers to jaw-dropping investigations into major companies, 2019 was a bumpy year for the salmon industry.

IntraFish brings you a wrap-up of the biggest salmon stories that made waves in 2019:

Costco restructures massive smoked salmon contract

The most-read salmon story this year was retail giant Costco restructuring the supply contract for its Kirkland Signature branded Atlantic cold smoked salmon product line, sources told IntraFish.

Netherlands-based Foppen had previously been the sole supplier of the item since 2005, after Costco severed its supply deal with Lafjord, which was supplied by Marine Harvest (now Mowi). Earlier this year, according to sources, Costco decided to split the contract among three suppliers.


Why I'm removing my wedding ring

A purported deal between US President Donald Trump and Alaska's governor in relation to the Pebble Mine project was particularly galling to IntraFish Editor-in-Chief Drew Cherry.

In his column on the issue, Cherry explains why the world's largest wild salmon run spawns in the very rivers could be decimated should the massive planned gold, copper and molybdenum mine become operational.


WATCH: Anti-salmon farming NGO releases drone footage of die-off at Cermaq's BC farms

NGO group Sea Shepherd this year turned its sights on Cermaq's recent algae-related die off in British Columbia, claiming that mortalities are rising at an alarming rate, and drawing a parallel with Mowi's die-off in Eastern Canada.

The video certainly caught the attention of our readers, highlighting the "grease, oil and chunks of fat you can see on the water."


Analysis: Here's a list of high-profile land-based aquaculture failures

Land-based or recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) projects are some of the hottest tickets in seafood today, with millions being invested, raised or squandered in the quest for profitable projects.

And while those with longer memories can easily call to mind the headlines some of the projects made, and some of the eco-plaudits they received prior to their collapse, readers were certainly interested this year to find out which RAS project failed along the way.


Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's liberal party vows to close netpen salmon farms by 2025, move to land-based

Justin Trudeau's Liberal party in Canada launched its full campaign earlier this year, which included a major proposed change to the country's salmon farming industry.


Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson on salmon farms: 'Our objective is to shut them down'

One of the most notorious and controversial NGO campaigners told IntraFish his group has a multi-pronged attack ready against the industry. And readers wanted to know all of the details.


VIDEO: See the undercover footage that has Cooke's Maine farmed salmon operations in trouble

Animal rights group Compassion Over Killing (COK) went undercover at Cooke Aquaculture's operations in Bingham, Maine -- an Atlantic salmon hatchery that supplies to Martha Stewart's True North Seafood line -- and published troubling footage in a disturbing video that shows workers stomping on the heads of salmon.


Clothing giant Patagonia launches attack on global salmon farming industry

A film from outdoor clothing brand Patagonia caught readers attention this year. It attacks the international salmon farming industry, blaming it for reduced natural wild salmon runs, depletion of orca populations and societal issues impacting native North American communities.


Trudeau issues mandate to close BC netpen salmon farms by 2025

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used 2019 to create major changes for the country's salmon industry. And so far, he is not backing down on his vow to ban netpen farming in British Columbia by 2025.

Readers this year have been hanging onto every word of Trudeau, as the fate of major salmon giants such as Mowi, Grieg and Cermaq could be greatly impacted by his proposal.


Cooke in talks for Ocean Beauty stake

Canadian seafood giant Cooke Aquaculture is in talks to acquire all or part of Seattle-based processor Ocean Beauty, sources close to the deal told IntraFish this year.

With Ocean Beauty, Cooke would control a vast network of Alaska processing assets, and add Ocean Beauty's smoked salmon operations and Echo Falls brand, as well as its West Coast distribution network.


Dear Patagonia: Here's what you don't understand about salmon farming

Guest contributor Tony Chen, CEO of Bergen, Norway-based sea lice monitoring start-up company Manolin, gained attention this year with a piece on why it’s disappointing to hear the stance that Patagonia has taken on banning salmon net pen farming.


Bloodbath for Norwegian salmon prices: 'The biggest drop I've seen'

In the spring of this year, the market was awash with unsold salmon after high prices and overzealous harvesting, exporters told IntraFish.


Only one US state has a viable salmon farming industry. Will it last?

America has precious few aquaculture industry success stories, but Maine is one of them. As the sector expands can it fend off its opponents?


Salmon worms are squirming under the radar, for now

Nematodes pose a potential risk to wild seafood's reputation, but finding a solution in the supply chain remains elusive, and some say it's simply an accepted part of the business.


Blockade lifted on critical Chilean salmon supply line

Nearly three weeks of civil unrest hindered deliveries of salmon and exports of the fish from Chile in October and early November attracting wide IntraFish coverage.

A blockade of the shipping routes in and out of the salmon processing hub of Quellon, on Chile's southern Chiloe Island, affected plants operated by AquaChile, Salmones Austral and Marine Farm to varying degrees.