In the wake of the apparent collapse of California’s Chinook salmon population, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is deciding among three plans of action: a total ban on Pacific salmon fishing from Oregon to Mexico, shortened seasons and smaller areas in which commercial and local fishermen can operate, and a reduction of salmon fishing to the minimal level required for scientific study of the species and its collapse.

The status of Sacramento [River] fall chinook has suddenly collapsed to an unprecedented low level,” says Donald Hansen, chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) – a quasifederal body that assesses and recommends environmental policy to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “The effect on California and Oregon salmon fisheries is a disaster by any definition.

The council will make its decision on how to proceed by April 6.


More Bad News For Salmon

March 21, 2008

As brightly as my day started, most of them seem doomed to end on this sort of note.

Salmon populations are crashing everywhere, along with many other marine species. It’s an issue that touches aspects of daily life as seemingly disparate as restaurant dining and environmental protection, the fight to feed the world’s poorest citizens and the possible collapse of a multi-million dollar fishing industry.

Where do we even begin to fix problems of this magnitude?