All posts by Eli Knapp

FTT #3 Salmo domesticus

Salmo Domesticus is a genetically distinct domesticated variant species of salmon that originated in Norway. It was bred from Atlantic salmon to be fast growing and convert food to body mass more efficiently. Salmo domesticus quickly became popular with fish farmers. One of the issues with farmed salmon is accidental release. Salmon are often farmed in open net pens in the open oceans right off shore, these net pens can sometimes break and release huge numbers of domesticated salmon into the wild. These fish then interbreed with wild salmon. The spawn of wild and domesticated salmon are unable to survive in the wild like 100% wild salmon are, this is a threat to wild salmon stocks.

I think that Salmo domesticus has the potential to be both a blessing and a curse depending on how the salmon aquaculture industry develops. If the aquaculture industry moves away from open net pens and towards more efficient and secure methods of farming salmon then I believe that Salmo domesticus has the potential to be a huge asset going forward. Salmon farming has the potential to help relieve the pressure on wild salmon stocks and help return wild salmon to a more sustainable luxury product. However, if open net pens and other destructive methods of farming salmon continue they will inevitably damage wild salmon stocks and destroy the salmon across the world. In short, Salmo domesticus has great potential to be a huge part of sustainable worldwide food security but if it is improperly managed it will destroy the worldwide salmon industry.

FTT #2

In Four Fish Greenberg says “I couldn’t help but think that in a way the future of wild salmon and the future of the Yupik people were somehow sadly parallel to each other.” I think what Greenberg is trying to convey is how connected the survival of Yupik culture is to the survival of wild salmon. Greenberg talks about how as salmon have declined Yupik communities are now somewhat dependent on food stamps. This is in a similar way to how salmon runs are becoming dependent on stocked fish. In other words, he is trying to say that if wild Alaska salmon disappear, then the Yupik people will disappear.

Personally,  I tend to agree with Greenbergs assertion. The traditional Yupik way of life is impossible without robust wild salmon runs, if these runs disappear then Yupik culture will disappear. I also Greenberg was trying to point out that the Yupik community has an effect on the salmon as well, the Yupik community is not just dependent on the salmon, the salmon depend on the Yupik community as well. The Yupik people and the salmon have been co-dependent on each other for tens of thousands of years, and they will continue to be co-dependent. Greenberg points out that Yupik communities have one of the highest rates of suicide and poverty in the United States, and this decline of the communities is paralleled by the decline of the king salmon runs in the Yukon river and other rivers  around Alaska, such as the Susitna and Kuskokwim.

FTT #1

In his youth Greenberg experienced a catastrophic ecosystem destruction. The pond he had spent many years of his young life fishing at was suddenly stripped bare of fish either due to an especially cold winter, or the chemicals added to the water to control algal blooms. I have not experienced any sort of similar profound event but I have witnessed many ponds and streams decline from when I was much younger. The fish are noticeably smaller and harder to catch than they were 10 years ago.

At this point in the book I believe the Paul Greenberg would have said that worldwide fisheries are in a state of decline. At this point all he knew was that the ponds and ocean waters he had fished as a child had severely declined, so I think its safe to assume that he would think that worldwide fisheries are declining as well.

I believe that at the end of the book he will become more pessimistic about the future of the worlds fisheries. I think this because he is going to start with the idea that fisheries are declining and then continue to find evidence of more and more declining fisheries.  Even though many fish populations are considered stable it is natural for humans to focus on the surface level negative news instead of the more in depth positive stories. That’s why headlines saying “2/3rds of world fish stocks fully exploited” are so common.  The author is also not a scientist or expert in the field, so i am not sure that he will put in the effort to examine fisheries issues as deep as a scientist would.