Why are salmon dying in the Salish Sea?

  • Sun Mar 4th, 2018 1:30am
  • Life
Jacques White

Jacques White

Low salmon returns are expected to restrict fisheries in Washington this year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported this week. Jacques White of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project is actively working to help ensure the survival of salmon and other marine species, and he’ll discuss those efforts at the SeaDoc Society’s next Marine Science Lecture Series.

White will discuss the project’s collaborative effort to save salmon and other marine species on March 13 at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Parish Hall on Orcas Island. The event is free.

Puget Sound Chinook and Southern Resident Killer Whales have been listed under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1999 and 2005 respectively, and the resident killer whales eat mostly Chinook salmon, which compounds the issue.

Fisheries on Chinook in the Salish Sea have been cut by 66 percent, but marine survival of Chinook is still only half of what it was in 1984 and 75 percent of the Chinook returning to Puget Sound are from hatcheries. Those hatchery fish support the bulk of Puget Sound contribution to both fisheries and southern resident killer whale diet, but hatcheries can also be a threat to wild fish recovery.