Survival rates for Salmon just 3% on the West Coast of the USA

A recent die-off of fall Chinook salmon in the Wilson River has prompted fishery managers to close the entire North Coast to all salmon angling, effective December 13 – 31.

The U.S. Salmon demise is being blamed on global warming, but scientists also found an increase of 27% in radiation from 2012 to 2017. Survival rates for Salmon are now just 3% on the West Coast of the USA.

US officials closed all North Coast basins from the Nestucca River to the Necanicum River. The monitoring of North Coast basins, in response to the recent die-off, revealed substantial deaths of Chinook salmon prior to spawning.

The federal government issued a disaster declaration for Alaska’s pink salmon fishery and several other salmon and crab fisheries along the West Coast earlier this year. 

The demise of salmon is even worse in Scotland. It used to be the best salmon fishing in the world but climate change is being blamed for Scotland’s worst salmon season in living memory. 

Some beats on famous rivers like the Spey and the Nith recorded not a single salmon caught during the entire season, during November, 2018.

Just two salmon were caught on the River Fyne in Argyll, where once more than 700 were caught each season.

Survival rates for salmon at sea have fallen as low as 3% with global warming, pollution and ocean fishing fleets among the likely causes.

In August this year, a report claimed, from the Koyukuk River to the Kuskokwim, to Norton Sound, to Bristol Bay’s Igushik River, unusually warm temperatures across Alaska had led to massive die-offs of un-spawned chum, sockeye, and pink salmon.

Warm waters also sometimes this summer acted as a “thermal block” – essentially a wall of heat salmon don’t swim past, delaying upriver migration.

This month brought more misery for Alaskan fisheries. The season was marked by low flow and high pre-spawn mortality. This year, virtually no rain led to extremely low flows and field crews observed unprecedented pre-spawning die-offs and unusually late migration into the streams .

According to Prince William Sound Science Center, the fish finally started, what was for many, an ill-fated journey into the streams after some rain in early September.

The rain stopped and the rivers dried up again. Soon thousands of fish were restricted to tide pools without enough water to return to the bays. They all suffocated.

Our field crews estimated 10,000 died over a single night. We have never documented anything like that in the past.

Earlier this 2019, a sudden surge in algae killed at least eight million salmon in one week across Norwegian fish farms, the state-owned Norwegian Seafood Council has said. 

The enormous algal blooms, due to recent warm weather, have spread rapidly around Norway’s northern coast, sticking to fishes’ gills and suffocating them.

The Salmon fishing industry is on the verge of collapse after almost 10 million fish died in Norway.

The salmon problem from the radioactive pollution from Fukushima is even worse. A professor and biologist, talking in a public place about their salmon fishing was saying that at least 3 of her family members were dying from cancer, some of them having been given just weeks to live.

She was a set-netter and her family depended on salmon for part of their livelihood. I asked her if they eat the salmon they catch and she said since they like natural, organic food, they do. Her personal family consumes between 250 and 300 salmon a year.

She was totally unaware the fish were radiated but thought that might explain why her family was being destroyed by cancer, especially since there was no history of cancer in her family. 

Crickey Conservation Society 2019


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