“Since the mid-1970s, large increases in hatchery programs in the U.S., Canada, Russia and Japan have released billions of fish into the water. And the increasing global demand for salmon has resulted in calls to further expand hatchery production, especially in Russia and Alaska. In a 2010 open letter to Alaska hatcheries, seafood processors proposed increasing pink salmon hatchery returns by 25%-115% over the next five years. Similarly, Russian hatchery managers stated in 2010 that Russia is planning to build 23 new hatcheries that would increase the country’s hatchery production by 66% or 680 million fish.
“The scale and magnitude of our current hatchery production system is enormous,” says Rand. “Five billion juvenile salmon are released each year worldwide, and the prospect of additional increases in hatchery production is worrisome for the long-term survival of wild salmon.” (more at Science Blog)
This a very complex issue for this C Average Student. Dams, Irrigation, Logging, Hatcheries, Commercial Fishing, Pollution, oh and Sea Lions, on and on contributing factors go. And, the propensity is to substitute one man made management style over the top of the previous one. We mucked it up and the mean time, the Put ‘n Take Crowd wants their damn fish! I am glad others are taking on this puzzle and that they put it in terms I can understand…Cliff Notes so to speak.
All the good intentions aside, it does come down to prior investments, jobs, business versus a probable crisis in maintaining/restoring the original wild strains. As much as everyone readily paints business interests as inherently bad and the problem, I at first will always point to government management or mismanagement as a greater culprit in messing things up…then poor stewardship by businesses…and the oblivious ‘I want mine’ by the ‘put in take’ crowd helps perpetuate the whole mess.
While it feels good to quote some Native American slogan about preserving some resource, I wonder how Oregon and Washington…two states that have had overwhelming Democrat power bases for decades….two very liberal/progressive states…two very eco conscious states have made such a mess of the fisheries. All those Democrat Governors have been silent and void of leadership on these issues. Of course, I’m only a C Student…so what do I know?