All posts by Cara Roberts

FTT#3 Salmo Domesticus

Salmo Doemsticus: Domesticated Salmon

Salmo salar: Wild Salmon

Mart Gross, a conservation biologist is a person to raise recognition of a new species called “Salmo Domesticus” 1998,  He stated, “Domesticated salmon are about as different from wild salmon adogs are from wolves.” Like dogs, salmon have now become dependent on humans to survive.

This the first time I have heard the term “Salmo Domesticus” and my first thought was “must be talking about domesticated salmon.” As far as researching online I had a hard time locating articles using the term “Salmo Domesticus.”

The process started in Norway, a process that disrupted the wild salmon across the world. The process began to make salmon twice the size and grow faster therefore adding to the marketplace. The wild salmon gene is almost to extinction, farm-raised salmon are overtaking the wild salmon. Over the years I personally have seen salmon on the interior drop in size and numbers. Recently I was introduced to sea lice, a common problem in farm raising salmon.

It definitely is a curse to me, and how can it be solved?

When I look at both sides with an open mind I see that we can definitely put more salmon in the marketplace but at what cost?

Farming salmon is a risky business because it brings diseases from the hatchery to the open sea therefore spreading and harming wild salmon. Farming salmon erases the wild gene in the salmon and then what?

Salmon go to the sea to mature and when are done maturing and need to spawn then head to freshwaters to spawn. The curse lies in the removal of the wild genome and diseases that happen due to human failure.

FTT Studying

When I am getting ready for quizzes or exams I study the notes I took from previous lectures, I memorize the definitions if there are any.

Normally my notes are very organized and I pay attention to keynotes mentioned in previous lectures. I feel like I could have done way better in this past quiz however my notes have not been organized the way I normally have them due to some unseen circumstances out of my control.

For the rest of the semester, I will organize my notes as I have in the past, legible handwriting, in order from the lectures and grouped according to topics.
I will reach out to those that are looking for a studying partner we can compare notes (if we are possibly going to be working with one another in other classes during the course of this degree program we might as well get a head start and build those positive connections).

Another way I have effectively taken notes in the past was by assigning a certain journal/notebook to each class, this semester is my first semester back in 4 years so I think I wasn’t prepared as I have been in previous courses in the past. Now that I am back in school I remember how the organization helps in the long run when memorizing what was spoken of and is then better retained.

A scattered set of notes is like having a scattered mind when sitting down to take a quiz….an organized set of notes guarantees a smooth sailing quiz.


There were a few  things that caught my eye and they were:

the exchange of thirty-odd pounds of frozen, processed chicken and beef for a thirty-pound fresh king salmon from the wild currents of the Yukon.”

“A cage is a cage is a cage”

The tamed-salmon genome is now markedly different from the wild -salmon genome. When tamed salmon escape into the wild (as they do in the millions every year) they risk displacing a self sustaining wild fish population with a domesticated race that is not capable of surviving without human support.”

Where as Alaskan salmon outnumber Alaskan humans by a ratio of fifteen hundred to one, the global human population outnumbers the global wild salmon population probably somewhere on the order of seven to one. But unlike the Yupik Eskimo mentality, the Judeo-Christian mind is governed by a faith in improvement and transformation of the natural world. The Yupiks wait for the game to arrive. Judeo-Christians see the arrival of food on their plates as something that can be scheduled and augmented by focusing effort.”

I do agree with what Greenburg stated in the chapter Salmon.

I grew up within a strong subsistence family. We gathered and hunted during the warmer months, we did not rely store bought meats, fish or berries.
I remember as a little girl hearing my father talk to my grandfather about the cannery that opened in Nenana and how the discussion went on for a long time with serious looks upon their faces.

The food we gathered was to sustain us during the long winter months as well as help others that might be in need of a hot meal. I do not ever recall our family being without food. It kept us closely connected; hunting and gathering from nature, kept us at peace within our home and we stayed healthy.
I now see why my father and grandfather were concerned with our tiny town opening up a cannery. It changed how some people harvested salmon, it gave them a drive for money instead of survival. Greed replaced that salmon dinner during the winter months.
Life is different than when I was younger and the culture is struggling to survive in some villages.

One important thing that my family taught me was to allow the animal to give itself to you, to show it the upmost respect and in this we can walk in unity with nature and animals.

Salmon is Life and I hope that I can somehow help so that we do not lose our salmon and way of life.

FTT #1

Paul Greenburg grew up in Greenwich Connecticut. He loved fishing, knew how to read rivers, knew the good spots for catching an abundance. He recalls that 1978 was a good year and owned an aluminum boat by 1981.

At the age of 19 he was no longer fishing, he went to college then a job in Bosnia. Coming home to his mother dying with cancer she urged him to go fishing. He noticed that the tackle shops held different tackle, the spring migration had changed.

I spent my summers along the Tanana River working fishwheels with my grandfather, my father and favorite uncle. During free time we would go fishing for pike at a favorite fishing spot.
We would also fish for grayling at Fish Creek, Bear Creek or Herman Shores. As I got older I realized that grayling are no catchable at Bear Creek and that there are fewer/smaller grayling at Herman Shores.

All 3 of the men worked for ADF&G counting salmon via fishwheel. I am walking in the footsteps of my forefathers by joining the Fisheries program. I hope to have my own fish camp along the Tanana River in the future. I would also like to build a fish trap like my ancestors.