70-75% of Oregon salmon hatchery-reared (Sept. 2011)

70-75% of all salmon caught Oregon anglers & commercial fishermen are hatchery-produced fish

 

First posted on 07/09/2011

As Oregon’s non-selective ocean coho salmon fishery closes tonight (September 7th) at midnight, we decided to trawl through the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) website to see what & how they manage recreational fisheries & the status of the State’s hatcheries. We stumbled across the following statement in the ODFW 2009-2011 Agency Request Budget document re. “the Fish Division Propagation Program”: “More than 70 percent of all fish caught by recreational anglers and 75 percent of salmon harvested commercially are hatchery-produced fish. This means hatcheries help generate much of the sizable economic impact the state receives from commercial and sport angling.

Not that we don’t know that a preponderant segment of salmonid fisheries on the US West coast are heavily reliant on hatchery programs and human intervention, but this gives us a precise figure which prompts the following question: If fisheries managers in the State of Oregon (and Washington, where genetically engineered triploid ‘trophy’ trout are also released for anglers’ benefit) clearly differentiate between ‘hatchery’ salmon and [truly] ‘wild’ (“naturally produced”) ones; why doesn’t the Marine Stewardship Council (which certifies the Alaska Pacific salmon fisheries) follow suit (as the UN FAO advises)?

All Alaska salmon are currently marketed under the same generic ‘wild’ term. Would the Alaska fisheries industry (and the MSC) be afraid to use the terms ‘sustained’, ‘enhanced’, ‘ranched’, ‘hatchery’-produced? Would it be due to the fact that near one third of so-called “wild” (in fact ‘wild-caught’) salmon are in fact ‘un-naturally produced’ & not ‘truly wild’, i.e. originating from aquaculture/hatcheries?

With some environmental NGOs and lobbies having long attempted to demonize the term ‘aquaculture’, it may be hard – but necessary if one wants to avoid a consumer backlash in the future – to now admit this congenital link between aquaculture and many wild-caught salmon…

Excerpt from the ODFW document (ODFW 2009-2011 Agency Request Budget document re. “the Fish Division Propagation Program”):

“The Fish Propagation Program produces fish through hatchery production to augment natural production, and to provide fish for sport and commercial fisheries. Fish Propagation staff raise and release fish as directed by management programs developed by the Natural Production, Marine Resources, and Interjurisdictional programs. In 2007, 33 hatcheries and 22 remote rearing and fish collection facilities, including Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) facilities and Clatsop Economic Development Committee (CEDC) facilities, produced about 50 million salmon, steelhead and trout.

More than 70 percent of all fish caught by recreational anglers and 75 percent of salmon harvested commercially are hatchery-produced fish. This means hatcheries help generate much of the sizable economic impact the state receives from commercial and sport angling.”

[…]

“ODFW is limiting the harvest of naturally produced fish by implementing sport and commercial selective fisheries that target hatchery-produced fish.”

See the full 48-page document (2Mb Pdf): http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/budget/docs/09-11_legislative_approved_budget/Propagation.pdf

Excerpt from the ODFW document (ODFW 2009-2011 Agency Request Budget document re. “the Fish Division Propagation Program”):

“The Fish Propagation Program produces fish through hatchery production to augment natural production, and to provide fish for sport and commercial fisheries. Fish Propagation staff raise and release fish as directed by management programs developed by the Natural Production, Marine Resources, and Interjurisdictional programs. In 2007, 33 hatcheries and 22 remote rearing and fish collection facilities, including Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) facilities and Clatsop Economic Development Committee (CEDC) facilities, produced about 50 million salmon, steelhead and trout.

More than 70 percent of all fish caught by recreational anglers and 75 percent of salmon harvested commercially are hatchery-produced fish. This means hatcheries help generate much of the sizable economic impact the state receives from commercial and sport angling.”

[…]

“ODFW is limiting the harvest of naturally produced fish by implementing sport and commercial selective fisheries that target hatchery-produced fish.”

See the full 48-page document (2Mb Pdf): http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/budget/docs/09-11_legislative_approved_budget/Propagation.pdf

Read also, previously on SeafoodIntelligence.com:

On Twitter @Salmoskius:

Fisheries managers in Oregon clearly differentiate ‘hatchery’ salmon from (truly)’ wild’ (“naturally produced”) ones; MSC & Alaska seafood marketers don’t… why?

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