This year is the International Year of the Salmon, and it couldn’t have come too soon.
Wild salmon the world over are in peril—once plentiful stocks are dwindling in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Dams block migration. Proposed industrial development, like the Pebble Mine in Alaska, threaten intact populations. Pollution, salmon-farm escapees and disease team up with climate change to continually deliver gut punches to the “king of fish.”
Above, Sir David Attenborough offers up a plea. As he notes, we know how to recover wild salmon and reduce the impacts of human activity on populations of wild fish that are swimming near the precipice of extinction.
The question, of course, is about the will. Do we have it? Can we harness it in the halls of government across the Northern Hemisphere?
Here in the U.S., we’re watching Columbia and Snake River salmon runs dwindle year after year. In Canada, mining continues to threaten runs along the British Columbia coasts. And, of course, there’s the proposed Pebble Mine at the top of the Bristol Bay drainage that looms large as a threat to half of the harvested sockeye salmon in the world.
What we need, though, in addition to the will to act, is a sense of urgency—that’s what it will take to save wild salmon across the globe.
Check out the International Year of the Salmon’s website and learn how we can act to save one of the most important keystone species on earth.