August 3, 2009

Weak salmon runs threaten Alaskan villages

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Native villages along the Yukon and other Alaskan rivers have a hard winter coming, according to Mary Pemberton of The Associated Press. Declining king salmon runs follow spring floods and a struggling economy as the latest blow to the villages. The poor runs may be the result of changing ocean currents or river conditions, food availability, or predator/prey relationships. The salmon might also end up caught in massive trawl nets of the pollock fishing industry, killing salmon instead of allowing them to return to spawn. Whatever the cause, the fishery that was once stable is now in decline, threatening the livelihood of the villages that depend on salmon to boost the economy and get them through the winter.

– Emily Linroth

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