After finishing the opening section on salmon in Four Fish it is time to do some reflecting. In your post of at least 250 words, share you thoughts on what the chapter suggested regarding our goals in managing salmon? What are our objectives? What would be lost if salmon in nature disappeared and salmon only existed as Salmo domesticus?
Are we working to just sustain food security the ability to fill our bellies, or something else as well?
Submit your comment by 11:59pm on Tuesday night and by Wednesday contribute to the discussion online by responding to at least 2 other posts.
49 thoughts on “FTT Prompt due September 20 by 11:59pm”
According to the book, some people are trying to use genes to manipulate salmon to make them more efficient for us while others are trying to make human-grown salmon fit for the wild. The people who are trying to make them more efficient seem to only care about feeding people as the fish they are creating are designed for maximum productivity in captivity and can’t live in the wild. This is not really management, it is more like domestication. It provides food security for us but nothing else. The other side tries to help wild salmon remain wild, or at least minimize our impact on them. This is a better approach because salmon are an important part of the ocean ecosystem, and if the only salmon that were left were fully domesticated and incapable of being wild a lot would be lost. There’s also the issue of our methods of containing and caring for the domesticated salmon failing in some way. If there were no longer wild salmon the existence of salmon would depend entirely on us, and we would inevitably mess it up at some point. As we have seen in current events that I probably should not mention here, some people are completely careless when it comes to the environment and will not hesitate to take stupid risks even when the ecological damage can be huge, so it is much safer to keep salmon wild. It is beneficial to help the wild fish survive, but not to the point that they become dependent on us.
Would you say that the “domesticated” salmon (farmed fish) are also created largely for economic gain? That’s an interesting point you brought up, salmon becoming dependent on humans, I never thought about it like that. That would be an unfortunate fate.
Yes, that was kind of what I meant by “efficient,” more efficient for the economy. It’s probably more cost-effective and less time consuming to run a fish farm with genetically modified fish than it is to catch them in the wild.
I appreciate you pointing out the issues with our methods of containing and caring for domesticated salmon and how these issues equate to the instability of fish farming. If food security cannot be entirely implemented through fish farming without large and small-scale consequences, what are your ideas that you think could become part of the solution?
That’s a good question, and our society doesn’t really have an answer for it yet. It would certainly be much easier if we found a way to solve our overpopulation problem (in a way that was morally acceptable). I think that with current technology and the limited resources on our planet there isn’t really a way to attain food security for our entire population, so the only ideas I can think of would have to involve major technological advancements and taking steps to solve the overpopulation problem.
How do you think that these domesticated salmon will fail?
I think the chapter is suggesting that our goals are to strike the delicate balance of conservation and exploitation of salmon. Biodiversity is a key element of a healthy environment, and we have a disproportionally large impact on biodiversity (good or bad). The loss of wild salmon would have major implications to their wider ecosystem, and also implications to us materially and culturally. However, salmon are also a natural resource for us to use, and it is equally responsible that we find ways to provide methods of food security in any case of salmon or fish in general.
There lies the fundamental problem, where do we find ourselves in the equally important goals of the sustainment of humanity and the sustainment of our natural world? I think the chapter allows us to see that the question isn’t easy to answer, but there are a multitude of viewpoints and methods that offer ways going forward. The loss of wild salmon would be an ecological tragedy, but how can we sustain our consumption of them? Greenberg gives us a couple of examples of how we can work around this thorny issue, but it’s important to note that there is no ringing endorsement of any singular development. I think it might be that a multitude of methods can come together to strike that balance.
We cannot fish salmon into extinction, but it doesn’t mean we have to replace them entirely with farmed or “edited” animals. Everything has to work together – conservation policies, fishing quotas and seasons, the use of farmed fish – and we have to continue to develop and refine the ways we can sustain biodiversity and the preservation of species while supporting our own continued existence.
I probably couldn’t agree more, the loss of wild salmon would be an ecological tragedy. We, as humans, do need to respect that salmon are a natural resource and that we are responsible to find ways for food security.
Good job, I really liked your thoughts on this.
I liked your quote; “strike that balance”. I found your explanation to be a great one. Can you elaborate on your sentence “ Everything has to work together – conservation policies, fishing quotas and seasons, the use of farmed fish” what would that look like?
I think it’s a cooperative process between these different areas of salmon research and management that’s ever-changing and constantly being refined. No single method or concept can answer to both the conservation of wild salmon stocks AND maintain our current consumption of them, and having one idea dominate others leads to significant risks in failure. Take farmed fish, for example. They can provide a relief to wild populations by replacing our eating of them, but they contain the risk of genetic decimation of wild stocks, and they can threaten the economic and material security of people who depend directly on salmon fishing. If farmed salmon became the dominate, or singular, way we interact with the fish, there are significant risks and losses we can be facing as a result. Instead, farmed fish ought to be just one of the ways we look to consume salmon and keep them in the rivers. Hope I explained that better!
I appreciate that you recognized the effects on the ecosystem the loss of wild salmon run would have. I agree that salmon is a resource for us to use but we also need to find a way to conserve them so that they will still be around 100 years down the road. This subject of loss of wild salmon is such a hard problem to work around and find a viable solution but I like how you explained it and possible work arounds.
Biodiversity! I am glad you mentioned its importance.
And I agree that we need a multitude of methods to amalgamate something that even slightly resembles a solution. What are some of the methods you know of that could make a positive contribution to said solution?
I agree with many of the points you made throughout your post. I especially like that you commented that it is equally important to sustain our natural world and sustain humanity, I think that too many salmon farmers are putting the sustainment of humanity at a much larger level than the sustainment of the natural world.
I agree that there would have to be different methods that would have to come together in order to make it work because it wouldn’t be an easy task. In your opinion what type(s) of management would be the most effective to keep that balance?
I can’t agree more especially with your saying of the the loss of wild salmon would have major implications to their wider ecosystem. As well as the part of the salmon being a natural resource to use
How sure are you that we can’t hunt something into extinction. It has happened many times before so how can you be sure?
I saw, through the entirety of the book thus far, that there is a rooted connection (despite conflicting views) that fish is a vital source of food to maintain the human populous. We need salmon for its natural beauty and importance to the environment, as well as the dinner plate and the dollar. The objectives can vary with who you’re speaking with, but as for what would be lost? We can all agree that a little piece of the Alaskan spirit would be gone. Yes, there’s salmon outside of Alaska, but I’ve heard so many people call Alaska the ‘Last Frontier’ because of our (mostly) unchanged beauty. We still have our mountains and woods instead of 7-lane highways and Taco Bells, our icy coasts instead of concrete jungles and plastic suburbs. If we really are such a frontier, then why are we losing so much of that wildness to the modern lifestyle? It’s because those who simply see fish as a grocery list item do not see it for its core existence: An animal that belongs free and wilder than ever before, especially in these times. If we only had Salmo domesticus, we’d be losing touch with Alaska; it’d be the spiritual decay of the final frontier, the true global destruction of our world in devastating proportions. To conclude, while we are trying to desperately hold onto our food security and feed an ever-growing society, I believe there is a deep shame that these scientists are working to relieve. When you are ashamed of something you did wrong, what do you do? You find little things to help make up for the mistake. We can’t undo it all and bring back the wild runs of salmons at the top of their numbers; we can, however, create the next best thing that looks, swims, breeds, and tastes like the real deal: Salmo domesticus.
I agree that a bit of Alaska would die if salmon disappeared from Nature but this would also affect the states economy behind commercial fishing but also largely affect the global scale as well. I agree that if our runs died we could try to make Salmo domesticus the next best thing but it would never be the same and not be possible to get it back to the scale it was.
I’m glad you emphasized to the importance between economy and nature!
I agree with your post, but since you talk about the “Alaskan spirit” I think it is worth mentioning the importance of salmon to many different Indigenous communities across Alaska. Much of their history and tradition would be lost with the loss of wild salmon.
I think the point you made about the cultural value of salmon is an aspect of fisheries management that is not usually considered. It is likely because it is not a quantifiable number. I think the section of the chapter speaking of the Yukon River delta also emphasizes the loss of a culture when we lose salmon.
There are an estimated 108 billion pounds of food waste in the US alone annually, as well an outrageous amount of bycatch of threatened/endangered fish lost every single day. I wonder if it is possible to feel secure in and localize our food sources and cycles without sacrificing feeling “secure” in our food resources.
I had many mixed feelings about the salmon section. I found the section to be very diverse and I really enjoyed how Greenberg took his time with his research. Traveling to the Yukon, Canada, and Norway to interview and explore. He brought a wide array of perspectives into his text which I think made for a great read. He never told the reader what to think either. He only ever gave his opinion and the many opinions of others. That means it’s up to the reader to decide how to interpret his many sources of information. With each new source I became increasingly more interested and confused. I see all the perspectives on salmon and I think it’s difficult to side wholeheartedly with just one. Whether you’re “for” the wild salmon, commercial fishing, farm fishing, genetically mutated salmon, AquaAdvantage salmon, reintroducing salmon, and/or closed cycle fish farming; there will always be an opposing opinion. It’s impossible to decide who gets fish and who doesn’t and this is really what the whole augment comes down to. That and also how to preserve the remaining wild salmon.
The complex diversity of wild fish would be lost if wild salmon became no more. So would the safety of fresh (genetically) unchanged fish. The ecosystem of rivers would collapse without the presence of fish. What would happen to all the vegetation, grazers, and predators that rely on those salmon, if those salmon no longer returned? Not only that but the art of fishing would become a dying sport. As seen with native whale hunting. Only a few villages still have the knowledge to do that. Imagine if wild fish left from the streams and rivers. River fishing would become a dying art. The fish wheel and smoke house would be lost; and all those who depend on the return of the salmon. There are countless reasons as to why wild salmon are important and should be protected, especially in Alaska, where they have been a major source of subsistence and survival for so many.
I’d argue that a majority of the farmed salmon are only for economical value. People only look to see how best to get money in return for food. How can we grow the fish the fastest? How can we grow more fish at a cheaper price (fish that consume less wild fish)? If farmed fish were a question on solely feeding people then there ought to be more research in reintroducing salmon to rivers safely, as well as the effects of farmed salmon on wild salmon. As well as what these farmed salmon are made of, are they healthy for consumption? Should people be eating these fish?
All and all this was a great chapter and it has definitely opened my eyes to new ideas (especially for research). But I don’t think I can “side” with only one opinion without further intensive research. But I know enough to say that the remaining wild salmon should be protected.
I think you made some seriously good points in your post, and this was done really well! I agree that if wild salmon no longer existed the complex diversity of wild fish would be lost. I also agree that the majority of farmed salmon are for economical value and benefit. People, generally, tend to just think about themselves and don’t think about the outcomes of their actions.
I agree, this was a great chapter to start off with! I’m excited to finish the book.
Your points are spot on in your post. I really like this sentence you put out “Whether you’re “for” the wild salmon, commercial fishing, farm fishing, genetically mutated salmon, AquaAdvantage salmon, reintroducing salmon, and/or closed cycle fish farming; there will always be an opposing opinion.” It indeed is a true point. During the Kuskokwim-River Salmon Management working group meetings this past summer I would always hear of how opposed people were with the fishing regulations and also heard of people supporting the fishing regulations.
Above all, I think that the goal Greenberg poses in the chapter is that of creating a source of food (in this case being salmon) that is both sustainable and poses the least risk to ecosystems and the humans that subsist off of them. To this end, Greenberg explored the two most popular approaches to achieving this goal: wild fisheries and fish farming. Each of these approaches comes with their own benefits and risks, and careful consideration should be given to each should they see further implementation. With wild fisheries, ideally, impacts on the genetic status of salmon would be minimal (or at least wouldn’t be unnaturally accelerated by human intervention), and as long as these fisheries properly exploited their stocks, the impact on the wild salmon populations they take from would be negligible. The problem lies in that last part, however. If wild fisheries alone needed to meet the global demand for salmon, overfishing would be inevitable. Farmed fisheries seek to solve this problem by removing the caution regarding minimal genetic intervention. By modifying salmon to grow faster with less feed, public demand could be met with relative ease. This, however, raises another issue regarding how altered genetics could harm both wild populations and humans alike. Greenberg also notes how fish farming is very new in comparison to wild fisheries, and that placing so much importance on such a novel field with much less research into it is potentially a dangerous path to take.
Going back to wild salmon, there is much to be discussed with their role outside of human consumption. Salmon are a part of very important keystone interactions that contribute to the continued health of their ecosystems. If they were to disappear, these interactions could not occur, harming all populations who benefitted from them (ex. bears, birds, decomposers, etc.). This scenario is an example of how much biodiversity matters within any given ecosystem, as removing just one organism from the equation can have cataclysmic effects for all that remain.
Keeping this in mind, I think it’s important that people know that reducing an organism down to its interactions with a single species (like salmon and humans) undermines how much importance it holds everywhere else. If we only just looked at how much salmon humans could acquire for their own needs, we would create many more problems for other species that rely on salmon, which would then in turn create even more problems for us.
This book suggests there are essentially two groups when it comes to goals with salmon management. The first group is focused on creating a salmon that grows the most efficiently in the shortest amount of time, and therefore is the most profitable. This creates a whole group of salmon that would be unable, or extremely unlikely, to survive in the wild. The second group is focused on creating a human made salmon that is able to survive in the wild, and be as close to a wild salmon as possible. These two different groups, with two different goals obviously have different objectives. The first group is looking for profit and marketability, they are unfocused on the harm that may be caused to wild fish, or even the harm that is caused to the fish they farm. This group’s only objective is profit. With this thinking comes danger, if wild salmon is lost and only this farmed version of salmon is left there will only be salmon for profit. There will be none left for sport, and none left for subsistence living, essentially destroying the ways of life of many Indigenous communities. The second group’s objective is conservation and preservation, not only would these salmon be able to be used as a food source, but they would be able to be used to supplement the wild salmon population. With this salmon would not only exist as a farmed food source, but would also be able to continue to be found in the wild. There definitely are groups whose only goal is to use salmon as a food source, but there are groups looking to preserve the species as well.
I like that you point out that a world with solely Salmo domesticus salmon is founded on valuing profit. I agree that the unique lifestyles that revolve around wild salmon would be greatly impacted in tragic ways.
Greenberg covered a wide range of information during the “Salmon” chapter such as the history of salmon, salmon in Alaska, threats to salmon populations, salmon as a commodity, and the importance of preserving wild populations of salmon and fishes in general. As suggested in the chapter, our goals for managing salmon are to preserve wild salmon populations, protect salmon runs, reduce salmon intake to create a smaller overall marine footprint [mindful consumer choices], and drive beneficial changes in ocean policy. Our objectives should be to reduce human activity and impact upon salmon populations, runs, and spawning grounds, educate consumers and communities on how to protect and preserve wild salmon populations, and advocate for changes in ocean policy that combat threats salmon face throughout their lifespan. Mostly, we need to preserve wild salmon; fish farming is not a save-all alternative and cannot replace the value and significance of the wild species. If wild salmon disappear, GMO salmon will be the only species available and salmon existence will depend entirely on human activity, losing salmon species’ genetic integrity through the process. One topic I found interesting was the difference in trophic levels between wild and farmed salmon, specifically how this impacts levels of PCB. Wild salmon have a higher consumption rate of benthos organisms and macroinvertebrates versus their “domesticated” counterpart. I am working on a research project of my own, during which I’ve performed stomach dissections on wild whitefish and salmon. The majority of my findings were benthos organisms and micro invertebrates as stated in Greenberg’s text. I am curious to know how trophic levels affect other aspects of salmon populations and the trends of change in their diets throughout history.
It’s awesome that the learnings from this chapter are showing themselves in your personal research project! Hands on experience that allows you to solidify your knowledge from lectures or readings is always quite satisfying to experience. You highlighted the chapter very eloquently; I like what you said about fish farming not being the ultimate solution that can replace the value and significance of wild salmon.
In this chapter, the book informs us about two groups of people, ones who are trying to change salmon for human benefit and ones who are trying to help the salmon. Some people are altering salmon genetics and others are trying to create salmon that are fit to live in the wild – neither are ideal. Genetically modified salmon are being altered with the goal of maxim productivity for feeding people, these salmon cannot live in the wild. The man-made salmon will not be able to survive in the wild and will likely end up depending on humans. The people who are trying to help the salmon, not only help the fish but also the ecosystems the fish belong to. If salmon were no longer found in the wild, it would mess up the food web(s), the ecosystem(s), and the environment. Our objective should be to find a sustainable way for salmon to live and flourish on their own in their ecosystems and for there to be enough for our consumption, there needs to be balance.
I believe a lot would be lost if salmon in nature disappeared. The loss of salmon would negatively affect natural cycles such as the ecosystem and the food web. But it would also affect people from food to culture and folklore.
I believe we are working to sustain food security for our benefit of consumption but it is not the only reason. Truly sustainable food security will allow for the animal, in this case, salmon, to thrive in its own environment, have its place in the food web, as well as benefit the people who depend on it.
I like your point about how sustainability also means that the fish populations we depend still thrive on their own. I think that people often see fish like salmon as only having the sole purpose of human consumption and forget to consider that they play a role in the health of the natural world as well. If any progress is to be made regarding the state of fisheries, we need to adopt this factor of fish into our mindsets.
A big takeaway from this chapter regarding salmon management involves finding equilibrium between the ways in which we consume and utilize salmon resources, and the ways in which we are supporting wild fish stocks and/or supplementing them responsibly. Greenberg introduces us to multiple different perspectives and experiences of people somehow involved in the life cycles of salmon, from subsistence fishing in western Alaska to breeding salmon in Norway. From these views, we see the benefits as well as posing threats and can draw some of our own conclusions in where to place our values in the managing of salmon. Much of the chapter highlights how wild salmon likely cannot sustain themselves without some sort of guidance from human cultivated or entirely engineered fish. We learn that we have not yet found a way to bring either farmed or wild salmon to market that can be fully sustained by themselves long term. Greenberg states, “Humans now outnumber wild salmon by a ratio of seven to one. What would happen if every human on earth demanded wild salmon instead of farmed salmon? Instant extinction.” This is a striking claim, but one that provokes some thought. Ultimately, there seems to be a balancing act when it comes to keeping wild salmon fisheries intact and supplementing as needed with cultivated stocks.
Wild salmon disappearing from Alaska, leaving strictly Salmo domesticus in its place would be a calamity. The repercussions would not only be ecological but would strip Alaska of its very identity. In many ways, the current mindset towards salmon seems to revolve around the idea of feeding the world’s populations, with less of a focus on the emotional ties we can have to the food and wild salmon we sustain ourselves with.
I think Greenberg did a great job of explaining different types of goals regarding managing salmon. I enjoyed reading about the experiences he had while striving to answer this question. While some parts were a bit more disturbing to read, such as the AquAdvantage salmon and the villages that are suffering from others overfishing, the chapter was very informational and eye opening. This is clearly a very deep, multifaceted issue.
I think it’s important to consider how the extinction of salmon could effect life in the bigger picture. While it would have obvious effects in terms of human consumption, I think it would also have pretty detrimental effects in micro and macro ecosystems. While it seems like just one fish we would be losing, salmon are a major player and influence that’s loss would probably have some major domino effects seen within other fish and animals. The more I learn about the environment, the more I learn about how incredibly balanced everything is. It truly takes all humans, plants, animals, bacteria, etc. to function as a whole.
If salmon were to only exist as Salmo domesticus, I think there would be crippling local and cultural losses. This is especially true in Alaska. While it is oftentimes easy to think of salmon as simply a food, they play incredible roles and hold a lot of importance in Native Alaskan cultures and economies.
In regards to the last question, I think the answer can be situational. I would argue that there are several different definitions of “we” that all have different answers to the question. A lot of this can come down to moral values but I think that some people are working to sustain salmon in order to sustain food security and some are working to sustain salmon because of other reasons such as the balance of ecosystems, cultural values, general consciousnesses, environmental awareness, etc.
I find what you said about there being several different ways to interpret “we” very interesting and had not considered that originally. Since there’s so many people and fields invested in fish and fisheries, there is definitely many perspectives and goals that are held by people of varying backgrounds all around the world. I think that this goes to show the inherent complexity of any given issue in the field, as there’s always another view to consider, or a different goal for someone to want to achieve.
This chapter was engaging because Greenberg shared many of his opinions but also included the opinion of others. He shared many different viewpoints from the different places he had been which shined light on other issues I was not aware of before reading this chapter. He also brought up some solutions to issues we have come to face with the decrease in salmon populations across the globe. Salmon are a vital natural resource for not only the environment but also the economy. As a result of this some people only look at salmon as something to eat, while others are focused on how important they are to ecosystems. These dilemmas show how and why fisheries management is a difficult task. There are different factors and problems that are associated with each solution that have to be considered when making any changes to how things are done.
If salmon in nature disappeared, ecosystems would collapse, the fishing industry would vanish leaving many people jobless, and subsistence fishermen would have no food. I believe that farmed salmon are mostly thought of in an economic sense and not in an environmental one because there are many things that could go wrong with farming fish. One of the main issues is that the amount of resources needed to make it happen would not outweigh the benefit. For example, we would have to catch more wild fish to feed farmed fish. After reading the chapter I believe that we need to do what is best for the salmon and their environment overall, not just what is beneficial for humans.
Jocelyn, I also liked how Greenberg included the opinions of others throughout the chapter. I think it added a lot of very useful context in a subject that is vast, multifaceted and incredibly complex. I also appreciate how you reiterated the point that we could have to catch more wild fish to feed the farmed fish. I wonder if there is some sort of other chemical compound that would end up being made that would make farmed fish more artificial.
I’ve come to agree with what Greenberg wrote in this chapter that we have to make a decision if we want to put the money and all of our time working on farming this species because we are out of time. If we wanted to do this with another species it would set us completely back to square one and we can’t afford that. Our objectives are to figure out how to better farm these fish, make this a possible source of food, and to revise salmon rules and regulations to make this all possible.
I thought it was truly interesting what Chopin had done with his research brought over from France and how effective it was with the combination of seaweed, mussels, urchins and sea cucumbers, and these genetic salmon designed to be farmed on this scale. The results of all the other benefits, especially with the mussels, was astonishing that by combining all of these life forms that all benefited off of the other species would create such an economic boom to the fish market.
If we were to lose wild salmon we would be losing a cornerstone to the fish market. Would a new species be found to take its place most likely however the drop in that economy would be devastating. On the other hand the hatcheries and farms that would be left to breed Salmo domesticus would become millionaires if not billionaires. They would have the only form of salmon left making it very valuable. This would be a very difficult situation on how to regulate them however and would not be enough to get salmon back on the menu across the world.
I think with the research and salmon farms around North America we are going farther to just sustain food security. We are going above and beyond with Chopin;s work as a prime example of this. We are not only conserving salmon in the markets we are making it a better fish that’s healthier and easier to grow but the other species with it. The mussels that were feeding on the salmon’s waste were healthier with more beneficial nutrients and contained more meat than average mussels. The economy behind this as well is astounding especially with the charts talked about in the article stating that they were so good he couldn’t read them at that time. So I would say yes this is doing more than just to sustain salmon being on our menus and on our tables.
Greenberg describes quite a range of management goals and priorities held by different cultures and societies across the globe. Because salmon are endemic to many oceans, there are many real case studies as to how different management techniques, or the lack of them, have worked. The question that fisheries managers are trying to answer is how to feed an exponentially growing population with a finite source of fish, in this case salmon (especially as it’s kind of a buzz-fish renowned for their health food status). This has led to the creation of salmon farms and increase in stocking. There are two sides to salmon management; there are those that would like to continue fully exploiting wild salmon stocks, as well as continue farming salmon to subsidize food despite environmental impacts. The other side leans more towards shutting down all salmon farms and promoting eating the smaller lower trophic level fish that the farmed salmon are eating, even if it causes salmon to be a less available food source. Most management goals seem to fall somewhere in the middle – how to fully and sustainably exploit the fishery for the sake of feeding the growing global population while figuring out how to make less of an impact on the wild populations and ecosystems.
All salmon diversity would be lost if wild salmon populations disappeared. Humans would be forced to eternally care for the farmed salmon to ensure their survival as a food source. Otherwise they would likely die out. Alternately it is possible that over an unknown period of time, and more of a hands off management approach from humans, Salmo domesticus could potentially re-evolve into the more fierce representatives of the species we are lucky enough to see/ work with/ eat today.
While food security is important due to increasing global population, fish are likely not the solution. The way that fisheries stocks have been exploited up to this point in human history might make it harder to rely on them, especially if we continue to put similar levels of commercial pressure. Additionally, if we want to continue using fish as a resource at all, much more emphasis ought to be placed on habitat preservation and revitalization.
I think your point on Salmo domesticus re-evolving in the future is interesting. Even in the worst case scenario, the loss of wild salmon and the permanent place of farmed or domestic salmon in the world, is there a potential to “rewild” a farmed species? Raises an interesting hypothetical, I think.
You make a great point at the end, I agree that salmon are not the answer for national food security. I believe there are other options that we could look into. In one of my previous classes we learned about the marine life that has been over exploited almost to the point of extinction. So moving forward preserving and revitalizing should be a priority.
This chapter was pretty interesting in many ways. The fisheries in Canada, the Yukon and Norway really showed how diverse the fisheries world can be. It is pretty cool that he did some traveling to the Yukon Delta to do some interviews and explore the area. With the exploration of these different places made this chapter worth reading over and over.
“Though the Yukon remains a very pure wild-salmon domain, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s operations now stock many millions of hatchery-raised fish into the state’s more southerly rivers every year to “supplement” wild production.” (59) I didn’t know that it was like that or is it still like that nowadays because the Yukon is experiencing a hardship with their very low salmon numbers. With that said, does this explain the Bristol Bay fishery breaking record after record? A lot of people have their own opinions on topics like this because it can be a hot topic especially for people who depend on the fish for the long winter months.
In the couple of weeks I worked on the Yukon it was so sad to see how desolate the river was and hearing how sad the people are during their weekly river-wide teleconference. A lot of people highly depend on the salmon there and they couldn’t go out fishing because the whole river was closed.
I think it’s important to continue to keep the impact on communities and cultures in mind as you do. I think it’s easy to get lost in the discussion and forget that there are a lot of people who are affected heavily by the loss of wild salmon, and more immediately for their cultural and subsistence needs.
I am interpreting your saying that Bristol Bay’s “record breaking catches” mean they have been catching a record amount of fish (please correct me if I’m wrong). That is certainly directly correlated to the amount of salmon in the Yukon because of salmon’s anadromous nature (they spend half their life in the sea so they are easily caught in the ocean unintentionally). Even though there are many regulations about which fish you are allowed to keep, as the ocean is a connected system, it is impossible to only catch one species of fish while fishing (especially with modern commercial fishing techniques). I believe Greenberg mentions the amount of king salmon having to be wasted annually through bycatch equaling more than all of the Yukon River’s indigenous populations’ annual subsistence catch combined.
I think less commercial fishing pressure on these parts of the oceans are necessary if we want to alleviate pressures on Alaskan salmon populations.
According to the book, fisheries are trying to balance conservation of the wild populations of salmon with farming domestic salmon for human use and environmental stability. It seems like the objective is to find a way to supply enough salmon for the demand of humans without completely eradicating the wild populations of salmon. It is also a goal to find a way to most efficiently provide those salmon for human consumption from farms through genetic engineering.
If the wild populations of salmon disappear from the ecosystem and are replaced by domesticated salmon, this would cause many problems in that environment. Wild salmon grow with the instinct to travel along their rivers to sea then back again to spawn, where the domesticated salmon would rely on humans rather than instinct. The consistent cycle has allowed many species including bears, eagles, and even humans to move with the changes in salmon behavior for sustenance as part of their yearly survival. The salmon also eat various insects and small prey in the rivers and oceans where they travel. Taking them out of the ecosystem removes both a vital prey species from certain species and removes a factor keeping bug and small fish populations in check. It would also ruin subsistence fishing and recreational/tourist fishing in places like Alaska. Salmon also play an important role in the intrinsic value of the environment.
So not only do we need to work towards the ability to sustain our population, but we need to work towards conserving the natural populations of salmon still existing today, not just for their value towards humans, but also for the essential role they play in the environment.
Danae, I agree that the disappearance of wild salmon would create many problems within the environment. Salmon are involved (both directly and indirectly) in so many different cycles and losing them would definitely cause a lot of ripples and disruption in countless ecosystems.
yes for sure
Greenberg did a great job explaining fish (salmon) management jobs. We need to work towards sustaining our population and also work on conversing salmon habitats. We as humans need to work on so many things for example the water population. I think we shouldn’t genetically modified salmon.
According to the chapter, many scientists are trying to figure out ways to genetically modify salmon to help the grow into larger beings and be able to fed for human consumtion. It is a way for many fisharies to control salmon populations and be able to provide food for many people while also keeping population of the vital resorce high. The after affects of this gentic modification may lead to too much and hurt the envoirment in the long term however I believe that many scientists are already figureing this out and are coming up with background solutions to help control the rise in the salmon breeding. While many salmons species in the yukon are being tested for this, rest assure that the top minds at the fishary are being most stingy with their testing and won’t let anything bad happen so far. Unless something comes out of their control and in that case it is best to panic and fear. However I do believe that it is something that will never come to furistion.