Study Shows West Coast Sockeye Salmon Decline

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VANCOUVER — Sockeye salmon that originates in Washington, B.C., southeast Alaska and the Yakutat peninsula, is on decline, according to a report from the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

“There have been relatively rapid and consistent decreases in productivity since the late 1990s, and in many cases since the late 1980s or early 1990s, in most “southern” sockeye stocks,” reads the report.

But, not all sockeye salmon populations are on the decline. In fact, salmon populations in Central and Western Alaska regions have remained stable or grown.

Researchers have not given a cause for the decline of salmon populations but have suggested further investigations be focused on a variety of factors, including “climate-driven increases in freshwater or marine mortality induced by pathogens as well as increases in predation or reduced food availability due to oceanographic changes”.

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