Tuesday, February 10

Could California's Salmon Make a Comeback?


The collapse of the pisiculture and fish stocks is one of the big disasters currently happening. There are loads of reasons. Like this happening outside normal life. Who cares about fish? You can't see them can you? 

Second is the issue of politics. The European fisheries policy, the American one. The Asian policies are frankly extremely stupid and short sighted. 

So we are slowly screwing up one of the worlds most important biodiversity species and sources of protein. 

And once fish stocks collapse, they don't return usually. They leave behind a sea desert. As a Bengali son, this is cultural, scientific and logical for us to Worry about and raise our voices. 



Could California's Salmon Make a Comeback? | OnEarth Magazine

After years of decline, the rich human community that depends on California’s salmon runs may at last be rebounding

Jon Rosenfield and I bushwhack through the scrubby willows that line the American River east of Sacramento. The air is crisp this October morning, and the timing of our visit should be just right to watch California’s Chinook salmon as they return to where their lives began and spawn the next generation. Rosenfield, a biologist, works for a conservation group called the Bay Institute, and he wants me to witness an annual ritual that future generations might not have the opportunity to see.

For the salmon, it’s the end of a hard journey that typically lasts three years. After hatching in the river’s gravelly bottom, the young often hang out in its shallow backwaters, developing the bulk and camouflage they need for survival. They then travel downstream toward the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — the tidal estuary where they start their transition from fresh to salt water — and out through San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. There the fish spend most of their lives, feasting on krill, crab larvae, herring, sardines, and anchovies. This is in preparation for the most arduous part of their life cycle: the swim upstream to close the loop. By the time the salmon reach the spot where Rosenfield and I are standing, their energy has been channeled entirely from survival toward reproduction. They’ve stopped eating. Their skin is falling off. After depositing eggs or fertilizing them, they will die. Their carcasses — “these millions of 20-, 30-, 40-pound bags of fertilizer,” says Rosenfield — will be eaten by coyotes, bears, and eagles, which in turn will spread their droppings across forest floors and agricultural fields. “In watersheds where wine grapes are grown and salmon still spawn,” he says, “you can detect the ocean-nutrient signature in the wine.”

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