Correlations Between Wild and Domestic Salmon

Home Forums Due September 3 by 11:59 pm Correlations Between Wild and Domestic Salmon

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    The decline of wild Chinook salmon is related to the rise of domestic salmon in such a way that the decline caused the rise. As salmon became more scarce due to overfishing or habitat destruction, efforts were made to maintain a food supply of salmon. The desire to create a super breed of domesticated salmon that could be farmed to have a constant, fresh supply of salmon all times of the year was produced from the mere lack of fish available to be caught and eaten. Wild salmon are more difficult to catch for trade while staying in the realm of sustainable practices. The amount of salmon in the world could never meet the demand from people wishing to consume it. This discrepancy solidified the need for a captive bred species of filler fish that could be consumed at the same rate while not destroying the world’s salmon stock. The farmed fish are necessary to save the wild fish. However, farming fish has its own downside. The same fish that were made to support the wild populations, also end up harming the wild population. When they escape, they can be better fit in some cases, killing off the wild fish, but then are unable to make it to a reproductive state without help from humans. In this way, the rise of domesticated salmon has the opposite effect- wild salmon continue to decline as a result of new competition. The domesticated fish are unable to reproduce themselves, but kill off the capable wild salmon. This lowers the number of salmon, both farmed and wild, and places all species of salmon at a greater risk. All in all, the rise of domestic salmon came about due to the decline in wild salmon, yet also creates the possibility of a positive feedback loop that sets wild salmon on a serious decline and wild salmon on the path of prosperity.


    I think that if salmon farmers don’t change their practices soon then they will have too great an effect on wild salmon stocks. This new breed of salmon is not one that can survive in the wild, so why are they allowing so many to escape the farms in the first place? Is there not something they can do to prevent this?


    I think it’s also interesting to consider if tamed fish survived and reproduced with wild salmon. They would introduce their “domesticated” genome, something built around just being effectively farmed, to a salmon refined to survive. How much would that affect wild salmon further down the road? That’s introducing traits normally “eliminated”.


    I agree with the fact that farming salmon as its upsides but also some downsides to it as well. If people wanted to better stable the salmon population they should also keep track of the salmon they are farming to not let them escape in hopes that this will help the wild salmon have a chance to survive without the domesticated affecting them.

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