Unprecedented: Sockeye salmon at dire historic low on Canada’s Pacific coast — “We think something happened in the ocean” — “The elders have never seen anything like this at all” — Alaska and Russia also affected (MAP)

Published: August 19th, 2013 at 9:56 am ET
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Title: Lake Babine sockeye fishery at risk of unprecedented closure
Source: Associated Press
Date: Aug 12, 2013

Aboriginal people in British Columbia who rely on Skeena River sockeye are facing some extremely difficult decisions as sockeye salmon returns plunge to historic lows.

Lake Babine Chief Wilf Adam was on his way to Smithers, B.C., on Monday for a discussion about whether to entirely shut down the food fishery on Lake Babine, something he said would be drastic and unprecedented [...]

Last month, the department noted returns for the Skeena River sockeye run were dire. [...]

[Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] said department scientists don’t know why the return numbers are so low. “[...] we think something happened in the ocean.”

“[...] We’ve never seen anything like this in all these years I’ve done this. I’ve asked the elders and they have never seen anything like this at all.” [said Chief Wilf Adam]

More: “The sockeye runs way up north in the Skeena are low. The [fish] out of Bristol Bay, Alaska is down 30 to 35 per cent over last year. Russia has got a limited number of fish in the market. They are down about 40 per cent over all their salmon fisheries.”

Gundersen: We are going to see top of the food chain animals like tuna and salmon and things like that that bioaccumulate [...] I am concerned that the FDA is not monitoring fish entering the United States [...] I am thinking by 2013 we might see contamination of the water and of the top of the food chain fishes on the West Coast.

Gundersen: Federal and state agencies are not measuring this… I’ve been working on the West Coast and I’ve been trying to get the people of Oregon to demand of their state, the people of Alaska to demand of their state: Check the salmon, it is not difficult.

See also: Marine biologist in Canada: Salmon species needs to be tested for radiation -- Gov't doesn’t want us to know

From today: Biologist: Pacific herring in Canada bleeding from eyeballs, faces, fins, tails -- I've never seen fish looking this bad -- All 100 examined were bloody -- Officials informed of hemorrhaging soon after 3/11 -- Gov't ignoring problem (PHOTO)

UPDATE: Canadian official publicly claims 'no concern' over new Fukushima leak info... Yet privately requested tests on salmon, due to "great public concern about potential radiation contamination in these fish"

Published: August 19th, 2013 at 9:56 am ET
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