Scientists Weigh In On Record Bristol Bay Salmon Harvest Despite Warming Oceans

Really informative Seattle Times that dives into climate change effects in Alaska – specifically in Bristol Bay, which despite all the warning signs has produced a record salmon harvest this summer. Here’s a sample:

They are also grappling with another question in a century of intensifying climate change stoked by human activities that release greenhouse gases: Will it eventually get too warm, and undermine the extraordinary productivity of Bristol Bay sockeye? 

Already there is one unsettling trend: Adult Bristol Bay sockeye in recent years have been steadily smaller as they return to spawn.

“There’s a tipping point somewhere,” said Daniel Schindler, a University of Washington fishery scientist who spends summers studying these fish. “How far are we from that? Will it be 10 years or 100? We don’t know.” 

The pace of this warming could have huge consequences for the world’s largest harvest of wild sockeye, which has emerged as a global model of a sustainable salmon fishery.