Worldwide fisheries experts gather in Seattle to save wild salmon

  • Mon Aug 19th, 2019 2:07pm
  • News

Submitted by The World Salmon Forum

With many wild salmon populations on the brink of extinction in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, a diverse group of scientists, wild fish advocates, foundations and a British Columbia First Nations chief will gather in Seattle for the first-ever World Salmon Forum from Aug. 21-23 to challenge current fisheries practices that are devastating wild salmon populations.

“Since 1991, 16 distinctive wild salmon populations have been listed as threatened or endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act in Washington State alone,” said Jim Lichatowich, a scientific advisor and fisheries biologist with 47 years of experience. “Despite billions of Federal dollars having been spent for wild salmon recovery on the Columbia River over the past 25 years, the wild salmon stocks continue to decline.”

Event organizer Bruce McNae said, “There is a narrow window of opportunity left to find and implement science-based solutions to the wild salmon crisis, which is what we will be focusing on during this three-day conference.”

One of the goals of the roundtable is to evaluate the indiscriminate harvesting of salmon in a mixed-stock open-ocean environment. This could allow salmon to return to their rivers of origin. At that point, selective harvest of hatchery fish could take place while allowing the wild salmon to continue upriver to spawn and rebuild their numbers.

Other key issues will be explored during the conference, which will culminate in a gala dinner at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s Spanish Ballroom. Tickets for the gala dinner are still available and may be purchased at https://www.worldsalmonforum.org/event/gala-registration/.

The World Salmon Forum joins the International Year of the Salmon organization to preserve wild salmon around the world and intends to share ideas and resources that can bring about positive change in wild salmon management.