Aquaculture for all

Sinking Salmon: Broughton Stocks in Decline

CANADA - A stunning collapse of pink salmon runs on the British Columbia central coast is reopening a charged debate about the looming extinction of wild salmon that breed near fish farms.

According to The Vancouver Sun, the number of pink salmon spawning this autumn in five key indicator streams in the Broughton Archipelago area has dropped as much as 90 per cent compared to their parent runs in 2006, and constitutes only about two per cent of pink salmon abundance in the year 2000.

Counts of spawning fish, which will be finalized early next month, underscore predictions published last year in one of the world's foremost research journals, Science, that pink salmon will be extinct in the Broughton by 2015.

The article's authors asserted a link between the decline of Broughton pink salmon populations and hyper-concentrations of sea lice at salmon farms in the area, with juvenile pinks devastated by louse infestations arising from the farms.

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