Thursday, August 26, 2010

Endangered salmon boom best in 97 years

It's salmon season, which means it's time for people to quit talking and start listening to the fish.

Endangered Fraser River sockeye salmon are coming back home to spawn in numbers that haven't been seen since 1913. This is one year of knock-your-socks off good news for fish lovers and conservationists, in the midst of a bunch of bad news.

Does 25 million fish this year mean that all is well in salmon land? No. Just like last year's 1.4 million Fraser River sockeye--the worst in 50 years--doesn't mean that we should kiss them good-bye.

Salmon farmers point out that salmon farms were blamed during the bad years for driving salmon to the brink of extinction by spreading parasites to wild fish. Is anyone saying why salmon farms aren't a problem this year?

The criticism that sea lice from salmon farms are driving salmon to extinction was first applied to the pink salmon decline until Fraser River pink salmon had a boom last year at 17.5 million fish.

Then the decline in Fraser River sockeye was attributed to sea lice from salmon farms, but this year's boom has muted that criticism.

The real story that salmon are telling us right now is that all is not lost. Salmon are amazing creatures that will survive if we give them a chance. Problems can hurt fish one year, and they can bounce back the next year. One year up or one year down does not spell success or doom.

During this lucky year, the biggest worry of fishermen is a drop in price for the sockeye they catch, thanks to the overwhelming number of fish on the market.

What a difference a year makes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job pointing this out Mark.

Many journalists are purposely shying away from any "mia culpa" on the subject of salmon extinction prophecies due to sea lice from salmon farms.

They were more than happy to report front page and quote activist rhetoric at length, without contacting a salmon farmer.

Now they know they were spoon fed BS and they are hoping no one points it out.

We are going to point it out. Thanks for helping.

Signed: salmon farmer.