The Demise of a Species? | Rock Candy

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Demise of a Species?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 4:29 PM

The salmon industry is reeling.  But it's not in the sense of lures, lines or hooks. 

Scientists and biologists have long been reporting that wild salmon populations are declining at an alarming rate.  But perhaps more recently, the cry for attention has become more urgent.  Blame it on over fishing, pollution or salmon farms, but if you happen to love salmon the way I do, you owe it to yourself to take note. And fast.

CNN reports that the disappearance of wild salmon populations on the west coast may call for a total fishing ban along these areas.  In the fishing world, this is unheard of.  Angling for salmon is severely limited for a host of reasons- but according to the astonishing numbers, the move to shut down fishing in parts of Oregon and California would be historical.

On a personal note, I find this horribly depressing.  Not just because I have had the wonderful fortune of fishing for these stunning creatures in one of their more pristine habitats, but because this is about the survival of a species and the understated disregard for its natural territory.

On a local note, be aware that most restaurants that serve salmon in Little Rock utilize farm-raised products.  Trust me, I've asked.  And you should, too. 

Confine the space in which a living thing is supposed to thrive, jam in thousands more of its relatives and it's easy to imagine the negative impact of fish pens.  It's like trying to stall biological evolution at will. 

At the rate wild populations are trending, stalling the decline of salmon would be something to hope for. Time will tell.

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