May 2, 2008

West Coast salmon fishing ban announced

About fucking time.

Pacific Salmon stocks in this country have been neglected for far too long and have been decimated almost to the point of no recovery. There have already been recorded cases of extirpation and extinction of specific strains of Pacific Salmon species up and down the West Coast of the US. It would be too easy to blame our current administration for this mess (though they haven't done much toward recovery efforts), however, the damage was done long before President Bush took the Oath of Office. Commercial over-harvesting and construction of dams that impede migratory spawning runs have nearly wiped out many stocks of fish. The problem is not just localized to Pacific Salmon species, but affects other anadromous fish species like American Shad, Striped Bass, and White Sturgeon. The time has finally come for something to be done about this. It is unfortunate for the many families that will be affected by this closure, however, the U.S. wouldn't be in this mess if better management and regulation had been in place. This situation is no different than the closing of the Atlantic Salmon fishery on the East Coast. Our fisheries managers had long been pleading the case that Pacific Salmon stocks were in trouble and that something needed to be done immediately, but this largely fell upon deaf ears. Political voices quickly drowned out any scientific-based recovery plans.

Closing the Pacific Salmon fishery is a start toward recovery, but dam removal is vital to the re-establishment of salmon stocks in many West Coast rivers. Hopefully it is not too late.

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