Fisheries biologists ask NOAA to include hatchery fish, call hatchery vs. wild fish issue "politicized" science


From WA State Farm Bureau

A GROUP OF WELL-KNOWN RETIRED FISHERIES BIOLOGISTS ARE ASKING NOAA Fisheries (formerly the National Marine Fisheries Service) to include hatchery fish in the "evolutionarily significant units," or distinct populations, listed under the ESA. (NW Fishletter, March 21) In their petition to the Secretary of Commerce, the biologists argue that the hatchery vs. wild fish issue is "politicized" science.

NOAA FISHERIES IS PREDICTING A HUGE RETURN OF BOTH COHO AND CHINOOK salmon this year. (Columbia Basin Bulletin, March 21) Preliminary forecasts call for more than 215,000 naturally spawned coho to return to Washington coastal rivers, a 138 percent increase over 2001 returns. (Final numbers for 2002 are not yet available.) More than half a million "wild" coho are expected to return to the Puget Sound, more than double 2001's return. Meanwhile, Columbia Basin upriver summer chinook were continuing to return in numbers not seen since the 1950s. Chinook returns for both the upper Columbia Basin and the mid-Columbia River were expected to be up 200 percent from just three years ago.


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