Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Researchers claim salmon population has doubled in fifty years

If the latest findings of the members of the Canada Research Chair in Fisheries Risk Assessment and Management are any indication, then the current Cohen Commission into the Fishery may  have a whole new topic to discuss as it continues on with its inquiry into the Fraser River fishery.

The Globe and Mail featured some of the research of the Canada/US research team, findings that outline there are more pink, chum and sockeye salmon in the North Pacific than has been seen before, a situation that seems to run counter to some of the headlines of late regarding the Pacific salmon fishery.

However, the remarkable numbers outlined by the researchers in their study offers up potential trouble in the future for west coast salmon stocks.

Randall Peterman of Simon Fraser University is one of the members of the research team and he outlines in the Globe piece that the current numbers of salmon have been boosted by the release of about five billion juvenile salmon from hatcheries in Alaska and Japan.

The rising numbers of hatchery fish could come to dominate the ocean unless international agreements are put in place to manage production levels.

The concern is that the hatchery fish will move into wild streams and interbreed, which would degrade the overall fitness of the wild stocks.

The article outlining the bounty of salmon in the midst of a salmon fishery crisis can be found on the Globe and Mail website, while the Globe also provides a link to the full review from the research team.

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