Half of Canadian chinook salmon endangered and the prospects for the species remains dire.
And on top of that almost all the other salmon populations species are in precarious decline.
The assessment comes from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
The report says eight of Canada’s 16 salmon populations are considered endangered.
Four are threatened.
One is of special concern.
And the health of two populations remain unknown.
And only one population is thought to be stable.
These salmon spawn on the Thompson River in B.C.
“For those of us who have been working on recovering chinook salmon runs in British Columbia, we knew they were in terrible, terrible shape for quite a while now,” says Aaron Hill of Watershed Watch.
His group monitors ecosystem health.
“It was actually good to see it finally recognised by this federally mandated science body, because this hopefully initiates more serious protection efforts from the government.”
The endangered category is the most serious one.
It suggests these salmon are in danger of being wiped out.
Half Of Canadian Chinook Salmon Endangered
“There are some where there is thought to be fewer than 200 fish still remaining,” says committee member John Neilson.
He is a Simon Fraser biologist.
“At that level, there would be concern about those stocks. That’s why we’re sounding the alarm.
“From other studies and general knowledge on the state of salmon in B.C., there’s a lot of concern. These are populations that are at the high-end of needing some attention.”
He made those comments in an interview with the Globe and Mail.
So far no concrete evidence has emerged as to the reason why.
But there are plenty of theories.
A surge in the seal and sea-lion population is one.
Another one is that ocean temperatures are too warm for the highly sensitive salmon stock.
And the decline of the salmon populations has serious consequences for marine life.
Here is the on the endangered salmon populations full story.