Salmon Recovery Essay

1305 words - 5 pages

The salmon fishing industry has exploited the fish for centuries. Records of the White and Barents Seas, Northern Russia, salmon catch from the 17th Century through the 20th Century show increased exploitation and the inevitable decline of biomass (Lajus et al., 2007). In Podporozh’e weir 387 salmon were caught annually at the end of the 17th Century while 1947 fish were caught annually in the beginning of the 20th Century. Similar catch was recorded in Podporozh’e district with 560 fish annually in the 17th Century and 1544 fish annually in the beginning of the 20th Century. Catch from the Onega River illustrates even more exploitation with 848 fish annually in the 17th Century compared to 2586 fish and 3141 fish annually in the 17th Century, 1820s, and beginning of the 20th Century respectively. The catches gradually decreased in numbers after the beginning of the 20th Century due to overfishing and the introduction of the timber industry to the area. The size of the fish had dropped over this span of time from an average weight of 8.09kg in the early 17th Century to 6.72kg in the beginning of the 20th Century. In 2002 the weight had gotten even smaller with an average of 4.2kg. The Varzuga district had catch values that were even more alarming with 25,151 fish caught in the 18th Century increasing to 58,484 fish the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. However, despite the amount of fish taken from the Varzuga River the population seems stable. The Varzuga River is one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world. The ability of this river to support the large harvest is believed to be due to its lack of natural resources in the area and the remoteness keeps human populations down and makes getting to the area difficult. The Murman coast had a early sharp decline in salmon catch then in other areas around the seas with an early 18th Century annual catch of 9,727 fish and a late 19th early 20th Century annual catch of only 4,228 fish. Illustrating that in some places the salmon stocks had been depleted much earlier than others.
In British Columbia, Canada the Thompson and Fraser River stocks of coho salmon declined by nearly 90 percent in the 1990s (Knowler et al, 2003). This declined the coho stocks among others in the Straight of Georgia. In 1998 coho salmon commercial fisheries were closed in British Columbia. To rejuvenate stocks, the coho salmon need three years to grow between spawning to joining the adult populations of salmon. Along with these rivers in British Columbia there are many other depleted or endangered wild populations of salmon (Eagle et al., 2003).
Some economies depend on the commercial salmon fisheries. In 1909, 64 percent of the total income for the Tersky coast in Russia was from commercial fishing (Lajus et al., 2007). Salmon fishing had become 63 percent of the Tersky coasts income by 1954. The economy of Alaska is tied directly to the salmon fishing industry (Eagle et al., 2003). ...

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