This is a great overview of a new study published this month, showing that boom and bust cycles in wild salmon stocks have been going on for centuries, long before commercial fishing (and salmon farming).
We’re talking about salmon. What were you thinking?
Some neat sciency stuff was published yesterday. That is, researchers at the University of Washington have discovered that salmon stocks have been highly variable for centuries – long before the start of commercial fishing. And these variations are not just year to year, but can stretch out for decades. Heck, one particular cycle was found to last 200 years!
But how can we know the abundance of salmon without written record, you ask? Read on, we reply.
Yesterday’s U of W release stated that the researchers examined sediment cores collected
from 20 sockeye salmon nursery lakes in southwestern Alaska. The scientists focused in on something that salmon accumulate in the ocean and leave behind in lake sediments when they die: nitrogen. When there was a lot of this specific nitrogen in the sediments, it meant returning runs during that time period were abundant; when there was little, runs had declined.
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