Thursday, April 8, 2010

Salmon Are Sacred...

     The importance of wild salmon cannot be stressed enough. The health of the entire ecosystem depends on the annual runs of these majestic fish. Five species of Pacific salmon and the mighty steelhead trout all run from the rivers, lakes, streams and side channels of the vast marine ecosystem that connects the offshore mountains and plateau of British Columbia to its wild coast. Many runs are already extinct, most are horribly affected and many more are at risk of becoming extinct. Their genetic seeds are being wiped out by overfishing, aquaculture interference and lack of understanding of their complex reproductive cycles. For more than 10,000 years silver herds of salmon have been returning to BC’s rivers to sustain a cycle of life and death, abundance and depletion, that has come to support and characterize the cultural soul of the entire province! We are on the brink of disaster!!

Here is the simplified version of the interdependency of the British Columbian ecosystem from salmon to human…

          In the fall, the vast numbers of salmon running upriver to spawn sustains the great carnivores and predators of western North America. Grizzly bears, the world’s largest black bears, wolves, eagles, ospreys, ravens and several gulls feast on salmon in preparation for the lean winter months. The rotting carcasses of the salmon that finished their journey and reproduced help to fertilize the riparian fringe, flushing nutrients into the rivers and streams to support aquatic life that in turn supports other species, thus the circle of life. In the spring, millions of emerging baby salmon that migrate to sea provides abundant feed for creatures higher on the food chain, from cutthroat trout to seabirds. In the ocean they are preyed upon by whales, seals, sea lions and humans…but not for long?

If you haven't already, please take the time to sign the petition at

1 comment: