High Seafood, Low Salmon

I thought that these two contrasting articles where very interesting, Alaska has seen its lowest salmon run in over 30 years at the same time Alaska’s seafood catch reaches a 17 year high. It makes me wonder what it is that is increasing the seafood volume and decreasing the salmon volume so significantly. Unless crabs have started to eat the salmon it really does not make any sense. I know they are two separate fisheries but something between the sea and our fresh water rivers has to be affecting the salmon run. With all the talk about new developments like pebble mine and hydro fracking in the artic it makes me wonder what effects those things will have on an already troubled returning salmon run. The rural villages depend largely on salmon for subsistence; they depend on salmon to eat through the winter. Not only that but it’s a way of life for them, it’s a huge part of their culture and economy (cash and non-cash).  What are the people that depend on salmon for subsistence going to do to make it through the winter?   Somewhere I read that they will be supplemented with a food stamp sort of thing, that’s not the answer.   Some rural community’s whole identity surrounds salmon, it’s what they do and who they are, take that away and give them food stamps and there will be more issues than just feeding that community.  The salmon run last year was low, this year it is even lower, so what does the future look like for the salmon that a large part of Alaska’s people depend on?



3 thoughts on “High Seafood, Low Salmon”

  1. I find this very interesting as well, particularly as a salmon fisherwoman. I fish lower cook inlet salmon seine, and we just did not see the pink salmon returns that there should be in comparison to recruitment, escapement and morality rates. I often wonder if it is something as simple as the spiny dogfish? We could have filled our entire boat with them, which is about 33,000, in just two sets made this past summer. This is where the pink salmon were no where to be found! It is scary to think about how one species could in a sense wipeout another….

    1. I dont think that the spiny dogfish displaced the pink salmon. Maybe their return rate was just higher this year. but somthing is disturbing the pink salmon life cycle that is for sure. It will be nice to hear what the team of scientest find out about the salmon run being so low for so long.

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