Last year’s alarmingly low Fraser River salmon run is set to repeat itself this year. Salmon run predictions are frequently inaccurate due to the numerous variables that affect the salmon life cycle. “However, early assessments for salmon abundance in 2010 predict that only 29 of the 88 stocks evaluated on the West Coast will be at or above the target abundance for sustaining or rebuilding depleted or declining runs.”
Meanwhile, some scientists in the department of fisheries and oceans are warning that the outlook for 2010 is already worse than it was in 2009, when only about 10 per cent of expected Fraser River sockeye returns materialized.
Conservation concerns during the 2009 collapse of sockeye runs returning to the Fraser forced federal fisheries authorities to close commercial sockeye fisheries and first nations’ food fisheries, which are important both to subsistence and cultural practices in many communities. The inquiry, struck last November and led by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen, isn’t expected to make an interim report before August, with a final report not expected until 2011. … [read full article]