Sunday, July 18, 2010

Clayoquot Salmon Facing a Bleak Future

Clayoquot Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island is home to some of the most pristine watersheds on the Island and has long been known for its world class salmon fishing. The region has been protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1993 and with many of the rivers within the boundaries of Strathcona Provincial Park, the freshwater habitat should be protected in perpetuity. Yet somehow, populations of salmon in the Sound have experienced severe declines in the last two decades and despite high quality habitat, they're teetering on the precipice of collapse. While it has not drawn the same amount of attention as the Broughton Archipelago and the Fraser, Clayoquot has some of the highest densities of salmon farms in the Province. Biologists from the Wild Fish Conservancy, a Washington based non-profit have set out to document the impacts of salmon farms on the area's wild fish and better understand what role salmon farming is playing in the decline of wild salmon in the Sound.

Check out a video from the common sense Canadian:

Also threatening the Clayoquot Sound is a proposal to build a large open-pit copper mine in the area. Read an article on how protections which environmentalists fought so adamantly for in 1993 have failed to protect the ecosystem over the last 17 years here...

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