The state of north Atlantic salmon
Did you know that an Atlantic salmons sense of smell is estimated to be 1000 times greater than a dogs? Or that males turn extra colorful just before spawning to attract a mate? Atlantic salmon and other salmon species are certainly extraordinary migratory fish! They are valuable to us culturally, ecologically, economically and recreationally.
A report written by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization was recently published in December 2019 about the state of the north Atlantic salmon. It comes as no surprise that populations of this amazing fish are dwindling across the globe. Before the 1990s, one in 1000 survived their first year at sea. Now, estimates suggest only one in 2000 survive their first year. Nearly half the stocks in major spawning rivers are at risk and 7% of historic salmon rivers no longer have salmon.
Because salmon inhabit such a wide range of habitats, they face many challenges and pressures to survive! In the report, the authors highlight habitat degradation, barriers to migration and over-fishing, to name a few. Yet, there are ways we can restore and recover this species if we work together! We can restore and reconnect rivers by removing barriers to migration, manage the fishery sustainably, improve water quality and habitats and reconnect people to fish and rivers.
Rivers are a wonderfully resilient ecosystem and can revert back to their natural state if we allow them to. Fish can also recover their populations if we give them space and time! Let’s take more steps to help the Atlantic salmon and other migratory species around the world!
Please read the report here for more info and awesome facts about this incredible species.