Sockeye, pink, and chum salmon are flooding the rivers across the Pacific Rim to spawn in record numbers right now, but high numbers don’t always correlate to good news. A lot of the fish come from hatcheries and are harming both themselves and the wild salmon population. According to Randall Peterman, a fisheries management scientist at Simon Fraser University and a co-author of the newly published study, this overabundance has lead to weakening interbreeding, competition for food, spawning complications, decreased genetic diversity, and more.
“Both hatchery and wild fish are going to face slower growth if they have to compete for food,” Peterman said. But hatchery fish are born to be eaten, not spawn in the wild, while wild stocks must be healthy in order to successfully reproduce. …[read full article]