Salmon In The Red

We hate to admit this, but it may be time to start eating less seafood. First tuna wants to kill you, now Salmon is running perilously low. It may be time to massively back off the oceans for a few years and let them re-stock themselves.

According to the Associated Press (via SF Gate),

The number of chinook salmon returning to California’s Central Valley has reached a near-record low, pointing to an “unprecedented collapse” that could lead to severe restrictions on West Coast salmon fishing this year, according to federal fishery regulators.

After a total shutdown in 2006 and a weak salmon season in 2007, not to mention that trouble with this year’s Dungeness season, West Coast fishing fleets as well as salmon consumers were likely putting a lot of stock in this year’s season, which opens in May.

The population dropped more than 88 percent from its all-time high five years ago, according to an internal memo sent to members of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and obtained by The Associated Press…
Only about 90,000 returning adult salmon were counted in the Central Valley in 2007, the second lowest number on record, the memo said. The population was at 277,000 in 2006 and 804,000 five years ago.

Dang, dude.

We called the council to ask what the effect might be on the local fishing and seafood economy. Namely, will we be paying out the nose for salmon this year, if there is any available at all? They said they were issuing a press release tomorrow, and that they’d answer questions then. Stay tuned…

Calif. Salmon Population Declines [SF Gate]
Pacific Fishery Management Council [Homepage]
Summary of 2008 California Ocean Salmon Seasons [California Department of Fish and Game]


Salmon In The Red