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Restoration of wild salmon or fish farming?

In the book "Salmon Without Rivers: A History Of The Pacific Salmon Crisis” Jim Lichatowich describes in details the salmon crisis in the U.S. and Canada. The author explains why fish farming does not contribute to the conservation of natural populations of wild salmon at all, but rather does opposite.

In Russian part of the Baltic Sea there are almost no salmon rivers left, which means there are almost no places for spawning and feeding for salmon juveniles. However, instead of preserving and protecting natural habitats of the wild salmon the state makes investments in fish breeding farms. At the same time the natural population of the Baltic salmon continues to decline.

Several NGOs observing the construction of the gas pipeline on the Baltic Sea bottom (Nord Stream project) has sent a request to the federal government asking for information about application of compensation payments from Nord Stream AG. According to the answer received from the Federal Fishery Agency considerable part of these funds is spent on the development of fish farming.

At the same time the situation with the wild salmon in the Russian part of the Baltic Sea is extremely bad. In the region of the Gulf of Finland there is only one salmon river left - river Luga. But even there the conditions for salmon spawning and feeding are rather unfavorable due to pollution from industrial waste, dams, proximity to the city and so on.

Coalition Clean Baltic and other Russian NGOs have also appealed to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Federal Fishery Agency with proposals to take immediate actions to save wild salmon, but no decisions on such measures were taken so far.

In Jim Lichatowich book "Salmon Without Rivers: A History Of The Pacific Salmon Crisis” published in Vladivostok there is an example when in order to compensate the decrease of salmon population due to overfishing, dams construction and deforestation, people began to build fish-breeding plants. After 6 generations (18 years) of fish that were bred at the fish farms a catastrophe broke out in the U.S. Salmon fishing decreased by more than 100 times during 20 years. Migratory fish have completely disappeared in hundreds of rivers

It was found out that cultured salmon is particularly vulnerable to climate change in the ocean. Technical methods for solving environmental problems did not ensure biodiversity and sustainability.

At the same time biologists and engineers have participated in the half-a-century race for construction of suitable devices and fish passages through dams, which resulted in the end in understanding that blocking of the main river course by dams is generally unacceptable.

Protection of the wild salmon is now perceived in the U.S. as national task. 60% of voters in Washington believe that salmon’s interests are more important than commercial ones.

The book ends with the words of the biologist Fred Allendorf, "We must recognize and feel deeply that finally we are not the biologists trying to save wild species. Rather, we are one of the living specie on this planet, trying to save itself"

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