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Commercial Salmon Season Is Banned For a Second Year

For the second season in a row, commercial salmon fishing will be nonexistent in California and Oregon, following a drastic drop in salmon spawn. On Wednesday, a federal agency recommended a ban on commercial catching of salmon off the coast of California and southern Oregon, prompting the Pacific Fishery Management Council to cancel the commercial salmon fishing season. The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to finalize the decision next month. Last Fall, the number of Chinook salmon that made their way up the Sacramento rivers were at their lowest levels ever recorded. "There are just no fish," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations. "If they allowed any fishing, they would be putting at risk future fishing."

The ban will be lifted for a few exceptions (a 10-day sporting season in select areas of California, and, in Oregon, hatchery-raised coho salmon from July to September), but the industry is concerned. Even without fishing this season, the salmon count will barely reach the council's minimum goal of 122,000 fish.

Researchers attribute the sharp decline of salmon to destruction of river habitat and increasingly troublesome ocean and river conditions. As we mentioned a while back, Atlantic salmon and all farmed salmon are some of the worst choices for the environment because typical salmon farming operations consume more fish than they produce. Although I was aware that certain types of salmon were more sustainable than others, I wasn't aware of the gravity of the situation. In light of the stark news, will you be more prudent when it comes to eating salmon?


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Good to know people are looking out and realizing the damage being done...
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 8 years
This definitely changes my fish choices. I've been staying away from farm raised salmon because of the color enhancing. This is good for me. It will introduce different varieties of fish to my diet. I've also been shopping from the sustainable seafood chart.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's really sad to think about how this is going to affect what people are accustomed to and how it'll affect the economy. there are a lot of fishermen that have their well-being as a result of farming for salmon and if they can't then they lose money but we don't want to sacrifice the future of the fish just to farm this year.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't eat salmon much anyway, but I work with a woman who goes to Alaska every year with her husband and they salmon fish. Every year, they usually get one and they smoke it and she brings it to's so much better than anything you could buy in the store, plus it's not commercially caught.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I forgot to mention, what I like about the MBA website is that it has a list of alternatives, so if you MUST have salmon, they list the other types that are more sustainable than the farmed or California varieties. They also have breakdowns depending on which area of the U.S. you live. And a printable chart you can keep with you! :nerdgirl:
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
The Monterey Bay Aquarium also has a really good resource for choosing sustainable seafood:
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
A good resource to look at before purchasing fish at the grocery store or in a restaurant:
kia kia 8 years
No need to be more prudent on my end. I have been aware of the situation and avoiding salmon already. In 2003-2004 I worked a contract monitoring salmon breeding on the main tributary feeding into the five main water reservoirs for the East Bay area of Cali. I am more of a wildlife and computer dork than fisheries dork but that contract has since made me very aware of the situation.
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