In the Salmon chapter of Four Fish, Paul Greenberg introduces us to Salmo domesticus. In approximately 250 words, make sure you describe what Salmo domesticus is, and briefly your understanding of how it has come to be (i.e. evolved). Finish your post on your thoughts about whether you think species like Salmo domesticus are a blessing or curse (i.e. are beneficial or detrimental. Make sure to think about who benefits or loses)
By 11:59 pm on September 23, be sure to have posted comments on at least two other of your fellow student’s posts.
We will discuss about this topic on Thursday.
We are going to have a great conversation today about the relationship between salmon and people in the Yukon. Here are a few images that might be useful context.
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.
Paul Greenberg’s quote, “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,” (Four Fish, Greenberg 2010) spoke to me in regards to the future of people as a whole. Not only does our history die when different species die, but our spirit and culture go as well. I hear many students say “Salmon is our way of life” so what would life really be like without salmon fishing? If more people could see the impact that salmon fishing alone makes in the state of Alaska, it might be more important to save this species and others that help sustain our way of life. The problem is simple: Yupik people live off salmon. When the salmon start to diminish, so will Yupik people. How can they survive when their main source of nutrients are gone? I agree with Greenberg even though it makes me sad to say that the Yupik will not survive much longer. The Yupik people, just like some of us, believe in a species that gives them life: salmon. Salmon are their culture, spirt, and their hope. Without any of those things, Greenberg saw the reality of what the scarcity of just one species can do to an entire group of people. It varies from the pond at the beginning of the book and I think it’s healthy for him to see especially if he wants to make things better.
What Paul Greenburg meant by this statement is that without some sort of outside support that the Yupik People would not stay in the Yukon River Flood plain. I do agree with his statement. The Yupik people live in a sort of archipelago in southern Alaska and in most of the areas they reside in, you cannot access them by road. You have to travel to these remote areas by plane and then by boat. There are very few amounts of rural villages that have an area for a plane to land which makes traveling in these areas very expensive. Without the help of the government in aiding the Yupik people, they won’t have enough food and funds to support themselves. With the salmon runs decreasing in size, it is making it more and more difficult for the Yupik people to live off the once so abundant salmon. As stated near the end of the salmon chapter, if they could start the process of setting up an IMTA in the Yukon River, it could potentially start to recover the salmon population slowly. I know that it could raise controversy and many if not all of the Yupik people would be against it but, if the salmon stocks continue to decline at the rate that they are, an IMTA might be a very viable option in order to restore the salmon populations. But if they implemented these changes, it would be from and outside help so it would be really difficult for the Yupik people to revamp the salmon population without outside help.
In the salmon chapter of four fish I agree with what Greenburg said. What i think he meant by the Yup’ik and the salmon in perrell was the salmon are going the be suffering in their populations. This will cause the Yup’ik people to be sad and would have to find another food source. This will be bad for the salmon, the people, and even the environment.
I think that when Greenberg says the future of the wild salmon and the future of the Yupik people are sadly paralleled, he means that the Yupik and the wild salmon have situations that have both populations traveling down similar paths. Wild salmon were overfished to the point that the government stepped in to help sustain the population, to regulate and make sure that they wouldn’t die out. I think the Yupik people struggle similarly with the trauma they have been through in the past with non-natives and the government, as well as the changes in the world that interfere with their culture and way of survival. The government has now stepped in to offer grants and assistance to help the Yupik preserve themselves and their culture.
I also believe that the Yupik people will lose much of their culture and way of life if the wild salmon disappears. I agree with my classmates that with the Yupik’s way of life their fates are intertwined with the wild salmon as well. So much would be lost if the wild salmon were gone. There’s so much of their culture that depends on the subsistence from the wild salmon, while their very survival may not rely solely on wild salmon during the winter any more due to current day luxuries, I believe if they were to lose that connection with their past and their culture it would be the start of the death of a beautiful way of life.
I think Greenberg may have been trying to say that without preservation efforts of the Yupik way of life, as well as the wild salmon population, both may become lost to us all for good.
When Paul wrote, “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.” It felt that an impending doom for the salmon was coming, and the Yupik people would feel the brunt of it. The salmon to the Yupik is more than a fish; they are a part of their everyday lives. The salmon returning every year is a primary source of the Yupik subsistence. When life is good for the salmon, life is good for the Yupik. When salmon numbers are hurt, the people feel it. The book talks about the elders remembering starvation, and this made me think of my friend’s dad. A Yupik friend of mine told me that when his dad was seven years old, his grandfather died. He said the community helped his family, but times were tough for everyone because of food shortages. He said many times his father didn’t eat dinner.
When the cash economy hit the Alaska natives, it was a hurdle. The Yupik found a way to be able to afford things they need to buy. In the book, they can have money by selling the salmon to the Kwik’pak.
I believe that when the wild salmon are no longer returning to the rivers, the Yupik people will leave their traditional lands. The salmon is what is keeping them there with their traditional values and way of life. The future of salmon and the Yupik people are going to need support to continue.
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.
“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.” This comment by Greenberg is such a bold, yet understandable and valuable sentiment. When a community’s life is based upon spiritual and physical worlds being interconnected- we must remember what salmon are and mean to the Yup’ik. Salmon are not just a food source, they are a way of life. From the small milestones of studies proving that Yup’ik peoples’ health has benefited from the Omega-3 rich salmon preventing them from diseases like diabetes and obesity to the smokehouses that stay full of protein all winter when hunting is not an option for the community. The way children are brought up and the way members of the community interact due to the salmon runs.
Salmon proved perseverance to Alaskan Natives. They proved when you take only what you need and do not take with greed, life is sustainable on both ends. Settlers would soon show how true that was. To no surprise, Native Alaskans have had a productive economy based on salmon much before the arrival of settlers. Yup’ik have never had to rely on money to get them through a season, or better yet, a lifetime. Imagine the shock to the community it would bring to one day have no fish to make life go round. I think it’s fair to say without a lush run of salmon, Yup’ik people will have lost a large piece of their self, heritage, and the safety net for survival in some of the most harsh places that contain human life. Though, with that being said, this is obviously a resilient community who can likely survive a lot more than we’d think. I believe deep down, there could absolutely be adaptation, but would they still feel the will to live a life that is not the one they were intended to- on the outskirts of corporate America?