Wild vs Domestic Salmon

Home Forums Due September 3 by 11:59 pm Wild vs Domestic Salmon

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    Greenberg describes how wild salmon controlled the lives of many communities around the world in a positive way, and how the decreasing wild populations have shifted, creating the rise of farmed fish. This has many negative outcomes, most that can’t be measured in economic value.
    The intent of creating farmed salmon is mainly for a primary food source and economic gain. However, introducing farmed fish into already diminishing local wild salmon populations can have a negative effect. Creating a new genetic pool of these farmed fish and introducing them into the wild habitat, can subsequently crush the already hurting wild populations. Introducing more fish into an environment is supposed to control harvest sizes, allow more economic gain, and overall create a more sustainably fishery. But it also can wipe out entire wild populations in return. Spreading new diseases, altering gene pools, and over-capitalizing the ecosystems in which the wild salmon thrive in. Therefore, instead of trying to alter the fish populations that are declining because of human error by altering the ecosystem and introducing new fish into the environment, we need to find ways to boost the wild populations instead of trying to control nature. Greenbergs experiences in the villages on the Yukon River and other places in the world show a global trend of diminishing wild salmon populations. At least according to him. One reason is because of the invention of new commercial fishing techniques. Over fishing these wild salmon populations and damming rivers to increase productivity are some of the anthropological factors that negativity effect wild salmon populations. We need to find a balance between salmo domesticus and wild salmon populations. In some ways, farming fish can be beneficial to some fisheries, by growing population rates and improving productivity of the fishery. But it is dangerous path and we need to do more research on how it effects native fish populations before we drive all the wild populations into extinction.


    I agree with the relationship you made between domestic salmon and their role in the continuing decline of wild salmon populations. I love how you also brought up the idea of leaving nature to its own devices in terms of genes and work on boosting the natural population. On the other hand, though, I’d argue that leaving nature alone would only intensify our issues. Work should be done to preserve our environment. Farming fish is a great way to allow natural populations to recover from years of fishing and still meet our consumer demand. The issue is with escapees, so why not focus on limiting escapes, instead.


    I think you bring up a really good point about trying to find ways to help the declining population of Chinook salmon. It seems that people forget that the things that they have created have caused the rapid decrease in the wild salmon population (dams and over-fishing) and instead of targeting the direct reason for the decrease, their solution is to create this new food fish that only serves the purpose of feeding humans and whose existence only creates another way to decrease the wild salmon population. At the same time, you also bring up this valid point that some geographic locations can really benefit from Salmo domesticus. I think about how beneficial salmon fisheries in parts of South America are, so you are definitely right that what we need is a balance.

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Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World