[env-trinity] Administration pitches new salmon policy

Josh Allen jallen at trinitycounty.org
Mon Jan 30 11:49:25 PST 2006

1/26/06  -   Yesterday at the Salmon 2100 Conference in Portland, Oregon
James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental
Quality announced the Bush administrations new Salmon Policy.  Saying it
makes little sense to eat imperiled salmon, the Bush administration
revealed plans to cut back the catch of wild Northwest salmon and shut
down hatcheries that churn out competing but inferior fish.  Connaughton
stated, "Our goal is to minimize and, where possible, eliminate harvests
of naturally spawning fish, which provide the foundation for salmon
recovery.  It's the right thing to do." 

Administration pitches new salmon policy




Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

PORTLAND , Ore. -- Conceding that using hatcheries to supplement
dwindling salmon populations is harming wild salmon species in some
cases, the Bush administration plans to move away from the practice in
favor of a more direct solution: Catch fewer fish. 

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental
Quality, announced the new policy Wednesday at a meeting of salmon
scientists, many of whom have concluded that wild Pacific salmon will
become extinct this century without big changes in how the harvest is

"Our goal is to minimize and, where possible, eliminate the harvest of
naturally spawning fish that provide the foundation for recovery,"
Connaughton said in an interview with The Associated Press before his

Scientists have long criticized hatcheries as producers of salmon that
dilute the gene pool, spread disease and compete with wild fish for food
and habitat, while being less able to survive in the wild. 

Connaughton did not say how much the administration wants to reduce the
wild salmon harvest or how many of the 180 federal, state, tribal and
private salmon hatcheries in the Columbia Basin it wants closed. He said
change will require the collaboration of regional federal regulators,
Canada , Oregon , Washington and Indian tribes. 

"We cannot improperly hatch and we cannot carelessly catch the wild
salmon back to recovery," Connaughton said.  

Salmon, an enormous part of the Pacific Northwest 's economy and culture
before and after European settlement, have been severely reduced by a
combination of human factors, from overfishing and development to
hydroelectric power dams. 

Since 1991, 26 populations of salmon have been listed as threatened or
endangered. None has been judged healthy enough to be delisted.
Restoration efforts and technological fixes to dams have run up a bill
of $6 billion over the past 10 years. 

Connaughton, President Bush's top environmental adviser, outlined the
new policy at the Salmon 2100 Conference, where scientists gathered to
consider new ways to prevent the extinction of wild salmon. 


On the Net: 

Salmon 2100: http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/projects/salmon2100.htm



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