In the Pacific Northwest, the mighty salmon is king. There is even a species of the iconic fish called the King. Salmon are revered here for very good reasons. They exemplify the fighting spirit and rugged individualism we cling to so tightly in these parts. They are tough. They are resilient. And they taste divine grilled on a cedar plank.
Despite their splendor, or possibly because of it, salmon are on a precarious precipice right now. They aren’t endangered…yet…but there are many obstacles to their survival in these modern times. Because of that, most people in the know are concerned about salmon recovery and survival. In the early days before large-scale white settlements, salmon were abundant here. By 1900, ecologists began warning that runs were dwindling. Modern civilization was having its effects. Logging, mining, agricultural irrigation, commercial fishing, and hydroelectric dams were (and still are) all culprits.
So now we are dealing with a huge problem, a problem mostly of our making. In the fight to keep salmon runs healthy, human intervention is at an all-time high. Every day there are stories of tragedy and triumph when it comes to our legendary fish. Here are some of them:
Genetically Engineered Salmon Poses Higher Risks than US Government Claims
No matter what your opinion is regarding genetically modified organisms, there is no doubt they are controversial. Proponents say it’s simply a process, and that it’s completely safe to introduce that process in the development of our food supply. Opponents say it’s not prove, not healthy, and not necessary. In this story, yet another study has come out highlighting the negative aspects of genetically engineered salmon.
More than 100,000 sign petition opposed to expansion of B.C. salmon farming
With the rapid rise in ocean temperatures, acidification, pollution, and other habitat loss for salmon, many people believe that fish farms are the solution to keeping them viable for our dinner plates. Others, as it is clearly evident, are opposed to such ideas. Penned fish tend to harbor more disease and parasites than their wild counterparts, and purists want to ensure contamination does not happen.
Agency reports killing 109 cormorants so far to help salmon
It seems that just about everything having to do with salmon is controversial these days. With food reserves becoming more and more scarce, wild predators are flocking to the Pacific NW in search of sustenance, and they are finding salmon. First it was the Sea Lions. Now it’s the double-crested cormorant. The large marine birds are responsible for eating millions of fish, and that means trouble for the already stressed salmon runs. As a result, officials have begun culling cormorants.