Salmon defined the livelihood and culture of the native people. They do this in the Pacific Northwest. They did this for thousands of years. Wild Pacific salmon can be high in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It can be low in saturated fats and omega-6. It makes them healthy. They are sustainable in producing excellent sources of protein.
People apply the name salmon to some species of the Pacific Ocean fish. It is in the genus Oncorhynchus. People also use it for the Atlantic salmon that belongs to the genus Salmo. Both salmon families are members of the family Salmonidae. Trout is a part of this family. Salmon and other anadromous fish are unlike most trout species. They are born in rivers. These fish migrate to the ocean and then return to their birth rivers so they can reproduce.
The North Pacific Ocean is the home to around six salmon species. Each of it has more than one common name. On both sides of the Pacific are Chum, Sockeye, and Pink salmon. Silver and King salmon only occur in the northwest U.S. coast, Alaska, and British Columbia. Cherry salmon is only in eastern Russia, Japan, and Korea.
Salmon in the wild and industrial fish farms
After the salmon hatches in small streams, they migrate to sea so they can mature. They live here for one to six years. Afterward, they return to the same streams where they hatched to spawn. They return to their exact birth spot. They have a homing behavior that is dependent on the olfactory or smell memory.
If there are small changes in the metal, silt, and mineral content of the streams, it can keep the salmon from finding their way home. Logging and mining operations may alter the smell and substance of salmon rivers. A slight change may destroy the salmon population.
It is the reason why aside from banning salmon farm, the state constitution of Alaska prohibited the contamination of salmon rivers.
Salmon has the fat content that has links to the length of their upstream migration. Salmon usually avoid eating after starting to go upstream. In the Yukon River, salmon has to swim hundreds of miles upriver. They do this to spawn where they came out.
There are many of parts of the world where they raise Atlantic salmon in industrial farms. They raise the coho and king salmon in British Columbia and New Zealand. It is on the rise but a small scale.
There is a lot of research that shows salmon farms can harm wild salmon. They become concentrated sources of sea lice and disease. It may spread to wild salmon if they migrate beyond the aquaculture pens.
People brought the Atlantic salmon to the edge of extinction. They did this by contaminating the salmon farms in Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. They are still scarce in the wild. In Chile, disease and ongoing problems plague salmon farms.
There are wild salmon advocates and marine scientists in British Columbia. They now fight large salmon farming corporations. They want to force them to remove their pens from the salmon’s migration routes.