Economic Impacts of Decreasing Salmon Population in British Columbia

It is known that a salmon is a fish which spawns in the freshwater streams, proceeds to the ocean and than it will return to the same river in order to carry eggs and to die after that. Nowadays there is a great trouble connected with the decreasing of the salmon population in British Columbia. Of course one of the main reasons of this trouble is concluded in the various environmental impacts such as the climate change, the occurrence of the different fish diseases and others. But much depends on the human activity in this case. Last years we can notice the intense drop of the salmon population which causes misgivings. The salmon poaching, the overfishing, the timber cutting, the oil recovery, the ore mining, the construction of dams are only several facts which have a colossal impact on the salmon population. A great deal of the information that can prove the fact of the salmon population decreasing is represented not only in mass media but also in some other sources. For example the book Salmon without Rivers written by the famous fisheries biologist Lichatovich where he gives the comprehensive explanation for the salmon extinction. According to Lichatovich (1999) we must pay more attention to the salmon’s world, “not as it exists today, but as it existed before we simplified, controlled and ‘improved’ it”¯ (p.226)- because ultimately we cannot have salmons without rivers. Some scientists consider that the salmon population decreasing is connected with the small skin parasites called the sea lice. According to their opinion the wild salmon was infested by the farm salmon which had sea lice on its skin. But there was an article in the newspaper Science Daily (Dec.13, 2010) where this opinion was disproved by the veterinary pathologist Gary Marty: “Sea lice from fish farm have no significant effect on wild salmon population productivity”¯. Of course he undertook all the necessary studies to prove his opinion. I think that such economic impacts as the construction of the hydro power dams which block the salmon’s passage to and from its birthing grounds (Northwest Power and Conservation Council)can be the main reason of the salmon extinction.

Moreover I should add that the commercial salmon fishing must be carefully controlled by the special departments in order to prevent the salmon population decreasing. This data cannot but disturb us: “In Canada when around 8 million salmon returned from the ocean to spawn in 1917, the government still allowed the catch of more than 7,3 million fish.”¯ (Hume). I am sure that the first thing the government should do is to fix the appropriate limits on the number of salmon that can be caught each year in order to save the salmon population.

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