November 7, 2009
Canadian Scientists Investigate Declining Salmon Numbers
Canada is looking into why less sockeye salmon swam back to the Fraser River on the Pacific Coast this summer than the number that was predicted by scientists.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper revealed the inquiry Thursday, noting that the federal government was worried about the shrinking numbers.
Scientists had envisaged that about 13 million sockeye salmon would return for mating season, but only about 1.4 million fish actually came back.
The decline was detrimental to the commercial Fraser sockeye fishing season, and encouraged the government to figure out if federal officials have botched salmon stocks.
Specifics over the inquiry were presented on Friday in Vancouver.
Salmon has long been a touchy subject between Canada and the United States, with Canadian fishermen often blaming the U.S. of fishing greedily.
Allotment of the declining salmon is the focus of a resentful debate in Canada concerning aboriginal, recreational and non-aboriginal fishermen.
Several environmentalists feel that the aquaculture farms located on Canada's Pacific Coast are harmful to wild fish stocks, which fish farm operators refute.