I think that Greenberg thought that the decline in salmon in the wild due to overfishing, climate change, and other causes mirrors the situation of native peoples like the Yupik people who not only rely on wild salmon like many other tribes, but have other problems as well that are causing gentrification and the disappearance of their culture to the world around them. The challenges facing both the salmon and the Yupik are similar. Exploitation and commercialization act as catalysts for their tragic and gradual downfall ending with the salmon dying out and the Yupik people being degraded and colonized to be just like the rest of the non-native United States. That would be the case if we kept on the path we are on now, greedy for land and resources carefully kept alive and thriving until modern times. I agree with the premise of the statement that Greenberg makes in the Salmon chapter that these fates of the salmon and the people are tied together, but I disagree that it is a prediction, because while they may face these challenges I believe that futures can always be changed. The point of no return is far away. If the core values of the Yupik people remain in their ways of life they can be preserved. If we use those values to regulate the overfishing and commercialization of salmon fishing, so can the salmon.
In the beginning of the book Four Fish, Greenberg fishes on his home properties and the surrounding areas during his childhood and around the coasts as an adult. He enjoys abundance in fish in a certain fishing hole for a while then as the fish seem to run dry, he moves on to the stream running from the pond he started in, and from the stream to the river it connected to, and from there to the ocean. This fishing routine sparks his curiosity for fisheries and he moves on to research global fisheries.
I don’t remember a specific moment that started my journey into fisheries and ocean sciences but I was born in Ketchikan Alaska and my earliest memory is poking starfish on the beach in the sun. I always felt drawn to the ocean even living in Fairbanks and that and my love of biology turned into pursuing fisheries and ocean sciences.
As he was a child, I think Greenberg would have diagnosed the global fisheries stock health to be a 2 but thought higher and higher (worse and worse) numbers growing up and going to research fisheries until it reached about an 8. I think he will get more pessimistic as the book moves on about the health of global fisheries but also optimistic in the endeavors that fisheries activists take on to try and stop overfishing and the like.