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« Stocking Isn't Always the Answer | Main | Activist Anglers Needed to Oppose Anti-Fishing Policy for Biscayne National Park »

Diseases Threaten Salmon Fisheries

Lots of concern about the salmon fisheries in Alaska these days, much of it focused on what the proposed --- and strongly opposed --- Pebble Mine could do. (Click on the Protect Bristol Bay button at left to learn more about the Pebble Mine threat.)

More recently, though, scientists in British Columbia reported finding two juvenile sockeye salmon with infectious salmon anemia (ISA).

The Bellingham Herald says:

“The virus, which doesn't affect humans, has caused losses at fish farms in Chile and other areas, and could have devastating impacts on wild salmon in the region and other species that depend on them, the researchers said.”

And an opinion piece in the Anchorage Press adds:

"As annoying as any kind of media saturation can be, the hubbub about the future of fish is earned. Because here's the thing: ISA turning up in West Coast waters is, potentially, a big deal. A really, really big deal.

"ISA is such a big deal that it kills 70 percent of the farmed fish it affects. And while the effects of ISA on wild salmon are still poorly understood-some research, according to the (New York) Times, has shown wild populations to be more resistant than farmed fish-it feels pretty logical to assume that if a virus can kill such a staggering percentage of fish in captivity, it can probably kill a healthy chunk of fish in the wild.

"Plus, ISA has a high potential to mutate, meaning that even if it isn't posing a serious threat to wild salmon today, it could, and in the not-so-far-off future."

If that isn’t enough, here’s an article entitled What the hell is turning pink salmon yellow in the Fraser River?

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