Monday, November 10, 2008

The decline of pink (salmon)

Pinks are the poor relations of the salmon world, although they shouldn't be. They lack the superstar appeal of king (chinook) salmon and they're not even in the second tier with sockeye and coho. And pinks are small. Along with chum, pinks are just plain fish.

They're not bad fish at all, I love a good canned pink salmon. And in biological terms, there's no reason to not think pink when thinking about salmon. Pink salmon are important ecologically, so they might be the superstar salmon for an animal like, say, a killer whale.

So even though you've barely heard of pink salmon, there's reason to feel bad about the recently reported decline of pink salmon off British Columbia. In particular, pinks are in big trouble near salmon farms.

The scientist responsible for uncovering this problem was recently profiled in the New York Times, and featured on the Island of Doubt blog for her achievement in science without benefit of the typical pedigree, gasp she doesn't have a Ph.D.! How dare she wade in these waters without a license???!!

5 comments:

coupdecoeur said...

Hello
a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
congratulations!
thanks for making us share your moments
you have a translation of my English space!
cordially from France
¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-
http://SweetMelody.bloguez.com

1800blogger said...

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Anonymous said...

Salmon, and not just Pink salmon, have had terrible returns up and down the coast this year - from California to Alaska. This particular river in British Columbia (Glendale River) has had a neglected spawning channel that was in disrepair (referred to as a death trap by one biologist) and also had major floods and washouts during the 2006 brood year (the year that these returning pinks eggs had been laid). For a biologist to point out only one possible factor (in this case salmon farms) reflects poorly on the profession. Perhaps Blogfish should look further into this bioligist's past history and realize that she only focuses on salmon farms and nothing else.

Mark Powell said...

I was wondering if anyone would question the salmon farm/lice rationale for Broughton salmon decline. I do think there are no single-reason salmon declines, but I don't know enough about BC salmon to speculate very well about causes for this pink salmon decline.

Ms. Morton has won some admirers among cautious scientists, so I don't think she's likely to be entirely wrong.

But I don't quite buy the idea that it's salmon farms alone that are harming any salmon run.

Thanks for the comment anonymous.

Anonymous said...

This critique of Alex Mortons latest study published in Science last month. Basically, it says you can ignore her summary as the content was biased and cherry picked data to prove her point.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/322/5909/1790b