An article in Science magazine describes the new discovery that a little-known chemical used as a tire-preservative may be killing large numbers of coho salmon near roadways (due to the runoff of tire dust). This is being hailed as a tremendous success for salmon, the final chapter in a long search for the 'smoking gun' of coho salmon declines in the Pacific Northwest.
|For Fraser River sockeye salmon, the problem is clearly multi-causal,
likely spanning the whole salmon life cycle. Does that mean we should
give up? No. Image from Marmorek et al., 2011.
E.g., quoting Peter Moyle from the LA Times article: “The challenge when you talk about declines of really sensitive fish like coho salmon, is that there are so many things that are affecting them simultaneously, it’s hard to pinpoint one”. It is hard, but sometimes or perhaps often it’s impossible, because it’s not a single smoking gun that’s the problem.
Marmorek, D., D. Pickard, A. Hall, K. Bryan, L. Martell, C. Alexander, K. Wieckowski, L. Greig and C. Schwarz (2011). Fraser River sockeye salmon: data synthesis and cumulative impacts. Cohen Commission Tech. Rep. Vancouver, B.C., ESSA Technologies Ltd: 273.
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