Don Sananin has loved the sea and fishing since he started in the industry as a 17-year-old.
On the water, being so close to nature, soothed his soul.
“It’s absolutely beautiful. I even love a good storm. There’s only a few jobs that brings out the soul in you.”
But after more than 50 years working as a commercial fisherman, the Burnaby man hasn’t seen a salmon season as grim as this year’s. Sananin, 70, who holds a licence for the area that includes the Fraser River to the west coast of Vancouver Island, hasn’t been out on the water yet. “There hasn’t been an opening,” he said. “The sockeye is the worst it’s ever been since the 1890s.”
He’s one of the commercial fishermen and other workers — who rely on abundant and healthy salmon stocks for their livelihood — hit hard by the decline in stocks, which the federal fisheries ministry has attributed largely to climate change.
On Monday, First Nations and union leaders said the federal and provincial governments need to step in to help fishermen through the worst commercial fishing season in 50 years as runs have plummeted for all species and in all regions. “The impacts of this climate-change disaster has been coast wide,” Joy Thorkelson, president of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union, said in New Westminster.
“The impacts are on fishermen, plant workers, net menders, and reduction plant workers, from Lax Kw’alaams [in northern B.C.] all the way down to White Rock and all the places in between.”
Thorkelson said at least 2,500 people have been affected by the downturn. She shared stories from union members who had called her office asking for help, including a fisherman whose catch can’t cover fuel and provision costs and a shore worker who told her she has to look into school breakfast and lunch programs because she can only afford to provide one meal for her child.
Many of the workers haven’t earned money since last year’s salmon season, she said, calling the situation “a huge crisis.”
“People need disaster relief now,” she said. “We need to talk to the government about what climate change adaptation is going to look like for the commercial industry in the future, but we need something to keep the bodies and souls of those people together.
“They have no money.”
Bob Chamberlain, a former vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says the government needs to come up with diverse solutions since global warming is an added stressor for salmon.
Courtesy of timescolonist.com
Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced a further $2.7 million investment in salmon conservation projects, after government officials confirmed Thursday morning that salmon stocks across British Columbia are returning in concerningly low numbers.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, also known as DFO, had previously forecast that 4,795,000 sockeye salmon would return to the Fraser River this year.
As the run starts, that number has been adjusted to 628,000 — just 13 per cent of that original forecast. The state of sockeye salmon is now so dire that some populations “face an imminent threat of extinction,” according to DFO.
“2019 has been a particularly difficult year for wild salmon,” Wilkinson said.
For Fraser River sockeye in particular, it “may be one of the worst years on record.”
On the Skeena River, 1.7 million sockeye salmon were forecast to return, but that has now been downgraded to 652,000.
The news isn’t as dire for other species of salmon, but the overall trend is that fewer fish are returning than DFO had forecasted. Scientists have warned that the Chinook salmon are also endangered, and some populations could be wiped out in the next 15 to 20 years if action is not taken now to help them recover.
The runs this year are too low for many commercial fisheries to operate. DFO has also restricted fishing opportunities for First Nations and recreational fishers.
Courtesy of thestar.com
Locals first noticed the die-off of Salmon and scientists descended on the field to study the issue. The Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission got involved. Its director, Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, accompanied by a team of scientists, took a trip along the Koyukuk River in Alaska at the end of July to gather first-hand information. They counted 850 dead unspawned salmon and felt the actual figure could be much higher.
In order to ascertain the cause of death, they cut open the fish and found the eggs intact. They looked for signs of lesions, parasites, and infections. Those were absent and they concluded that the heatwave was responsible for the situation.
Courtesy of us.blastingnews.com
Norton Sound residents have reported salmon die-offs in unusually large numbers during the last week.
According to the Norton Sound Economic Development Corp., dead pre-spawned pink salmon were found in multiple river systems last weekend.
The corporation’s fisheries director, Wes Jones, says the numbers of dead humpies being reported are larger than what’s normally seen in the Norton Sound region, spread out across several communities from east to west.
“There’s been reports all the way from here (Unalakleet) in Eastern Norton Sound all the way over to the Nome area. And it’s a very widespread area. The big change is that it appears that it is a much bigger event happening in eastern Norton Sound than what you’re seeing as you get closer to the Nome area.”
One of those reports came from Sophia Katchatag, the community coordinator for the Native Village of Shaktoolik. On Tuesday evening, Katchatag took her family up the Shaktoolik River, to a place called Jink-wok, to swim and cool off from the hot weather. She found a creek with “one area completely filled with dead pinks floating on top of the river.”
Katchatag didn’t pick any of them up, and she doesn’t intend to eat them, either.
Courtesy of adn.com
About eight million farmed salmon have suffocated in northern Norway over the past week as a result of persistent algae bloom, an industry body estimated on Thursday, a blight that some experts suggest has been aggravated by climate change.
Norway is a dominant producer of farmed salmon, and the economic impact of the bloom is significant.
A statement from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries estimated the amount of salmon lost at 11,600 metric tons, worth about 720 million kroner, or more than $82 million. An industry group, the Norwegian Seafood Council, suggested the total could be much higher.
“Preliminary numbers point to eight million dead fish — corresponding to 40,000 metric tons of salmon that won’t reach markets,” Dag Sorli, a spokesman for the council, said in an email on Thursday. He put the value of the losses at 2.2 billion kroner.
Courtesy of nytimes.com
The company Salmones Camanchaca, reported abrupt and sudden mortality of 123 tons of salmon at the Pilpilehue center, located in ACS 10 B, near the city of Castro, due to the presence of concentrations over 250 cells per ml of Pseudochattonella cf verruculosa , on the surface, activating immediately its plan of action against massive mortalities. The event would have occurred on the previous night and early Thursday morning.
Sernapesca regional staff was immediately established in the farming center stating that mortality is being withdrawn according to the available logistics, in addition to informing the regional inter-institutional environmental contingency committee.
It should be noted that Sernapesca keeps in surveillance the centers that make up the concession group 10B, ACS to which the Pilpilehue center belongs, since February, considering the presence of Pseudochattonella cf verruculosa , in concentrations under alert levels.
Courtesy of sernapesca.cl
An algae bloom in the Jervis Inlet in British Columbia, Canada, has killed an estimated 250,000 fish at two Grieg Seafood’s salmon farms in the area.
The Bergen, Norway-headquartered company, which operates several salmon farms and a hatchery in British Columbia, said an outbreak of heterosigma, a species of microscopic algae, spread in high concentration through the entire water column in the inlet.
“Grieg Seafood continuously works to improve biosecurity and all of Grieg Seafood’s sites perform algal monitoring by taking daily samples which are analyzed using advanced image analysis techniques. This allows for the identification of the species, prevalence and depth distribution of any algae present,” the company said in a press release.
However, due to the abundance of the algae, the company said use of aeration treatments or other measures to protect its fish “could not prevent the incident.”
The bloom killed an estimated 50 percent of the fish at the two sites, a total loss estimated at 1,000 tons. The fish were scheduled to be harvested in the second half of 2018, the company said.
In its release, Grieg Seafood said it carried insurance, and that the estimated cost of the die-off, including individual share of insurance, will total around NOK 25 million (USD 3.1 million, EUR 2.6 million). That cost will be realized on the company’s second-quarter financial statement, Grieg said.
Courtesy of seafoodsource.com
After it is revealed more than a million farmed fish died within six months in Macquarie Harbour, one salmon company effectively says “we told you so”, another says the dead fish were “replaced quickly” and the third says it has no obligation to detail its losses to the public.
Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) confirmed 1.35 million salmon died in Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s west coast since last October.
An area management agreement report provided by Huon Aquaculture, Petuna and Tassal found the deaths were mainly due to an outbreak of pilchard orthomyxovirus (POMV), transferred from wild populations.
That report had not been made available to the public.
EPA director Wes Ford told ABC Hobart the 2017 “mixing of young fish with old fish” could exacerbate the likelihood of disease in the population.
“POMV can be exacerbated by stress caused by heat, low oxygen, and I think this summer we’ve seen some elevated temperatures and clearly some concerns about oxygen.”
He confirmed the EPA would be reducing Macquarie Harbour’s biomass limit by 21 per cent over the next two years, from 12,000 tonnes to 9,500 tonnes.
Courtesy of abc.net.au