Thursday, June 26, 2008

More Alaska salmon troubles

OK, it's officially get-worried time as Alaska salmon runs go down the toilet. First the Copper River, then the Yukon, and now the Deshka.

Will the Alaska salmon decline spread, or are the declines an anomaly? Are space aliens really responsible for the Deshka king salmon decline? It it really Tuesday in Puerto Morelos? It could be nothing, or it could be the start of something serious. Just like the lobster decline in Maine that nobody wants to talk about very much.

This is not a new problem, and there's always a culprit. In 1957, it was Japanese fishing, and this year it could be American fishing. Is it really possible that the sustainable pollock fishery is having a major problem with killing too many salmon? Inquiring minds want to know.

Meanwhile, you sustainable seafood lovers, what will happen if this reliable and no-guilt fish goes into serious decline? Will everyone drop it like a hot potato? Or invest in bringing it back to health?

2 comments:

secondclass said...

Credible explanations must make sense in terms of the distribution of the decline (the whole west coast, not any one river system) and the time line.

No one knows what the net primary productivity of the eastern pacific was in the 40s and 50s. There are no comparable satellite data from then. I suspect there has been a decline in the trophic level one photosynthesizers, but don't know how to prove it. Dam building has trapped nutrients which rot in the anaerobic muck at the bottom of these lakes.

Overfishing by the exploding population of sea lions (population increases 15% per year lately), the sacred cows of our civilization, fits with the timeline.

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