10-million sockeye salmon were expected to return to the Fraser River to spawn this year. 9-million didn't show.
A team of ocean fisheries experts seeking to unravel the mystery now think global warming may be the cause of British Columbia's vanishing salmon stocks.
Food-poor ocean waters warmed by climate change likely played a significant role in the death of millions of sockeye salmon in British Columbia's Fraser River ahead of what was supposed to be a bumper year, says a scientific think-tank.
A group of more than 20 ocean and ecology experts gathered in Vancouver this week to discuss possible explanations for this year's salmon collapse and announced their assessment Wednesday, saying they want to keep the issue afloat with a judicial inquiry approaching.
Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed a B.C. Supreme Court judge to probe the collapse of the stocks, but the scientists say there's much work that can be done in the meantime.
The group recommended improved forecasting, more ocean-based marine research and a more precautionary approach to fisheries management.
Read more here.
The more likely cause is the sea lice contamination from fish farms that the young salmon must pass by on their way out to the Pacific.
"Food-poor ocean waters warmed by climate change likely played a significant role in the death of millions of sockeye salmon in British Columbia's Fraser River ahead of what was supposed to be a bumper year, says a scientific think-tank."
I'd like to see the scientific sources backing up this claim. Back when I was in school (which was not that long ago), my prof in my fisheries class made a point to empathize that we know little of the habitat requirements or possible population bottlenecks of the ocean stage of salmon.
Could new research have changed that picture? Of course, but I would like to see it.
Sea Lice are an issue, but mostly during the upstream migration. if it was the cause we should see plenty of salmon in the lower Fraser, but few closer to the spawning grounds.
Musing - the group didn't overlook the sea lice issue but they suspect warming is the prime suspect.
Dan - good to hear from you. I'm just wading through a stack of reports I received from Angela Merkel's German Advisory Council on Global Change. I think you would find them highly interesting, very well reasoned and utterly cogent. You're one of the people I'd advise to order these reports. They're available free of charge from www.wbgu.de.
Sorry for my long absence. I took a voluntary leave from the blogosphere because the stupidity was depressing. Of course your site is depressing for reasons other than stupidity.
And since I've been back I've had not had enough time to read everything I want.
As for those reports' I'll have to take a look. Thanks
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