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We have long prided ourselves in being the reality based community but there is a diary on the rec list that is not reality based. The title screams, "Alaska Fisheries in Midst of Economic Collapse"! Well folks, Alaska fisheries are not collapsing. Follow me below the purse seine and lets look at the evidence.

Are there regional fisheries that have poor returns this year? Yes, there are every year. Are they attributed to ocean acidification, well there is no evidence from the diary, just anecdotal "evidence" that claims "everybody is talking about the failure of the runs". I am not a climate change denier and am very aware of the danger raised by ocean acidification but salmon runs in Alaska are strong this year as they have been in years past. The diarist seems to imply that since some Cook Inlet and western Alaska runs are poor this year then the rest of the state must be in the same boat. Alaska is a big place with more miles of coastline than the rest of the lower 48 states combined. Poor salmon returns happen every year somewhere on this 6,640 miles of coastline.

Are there regions where the salmon runs are booming? Yes, Bristol Bay sockeye catch was over 28 million fish with over 11 million fish escapement into regional rivers.  Southeast Alaska salmon harvests are very healthy to date with nearly a month and a half of fishing left. Last year there were over 272 million salmon harvested in Alaska. This was the largest harvest ever recorded.  Alaska Department of Fish and Game manages for escapement into rivers and streams. Regardless of the forecast they will shut down a fishery in a heartbeat if returns don't meet forecasts.

Is ocean acidification real? Yes. Are politicians fiddling while it happens? Hell yes. Are salmon runs collapsing from Barrow to Ketchikan? No. Are they at risk? Without a doubt, but fish stocks are not collapsing in Alaska. In fact, salmon runs are healthy and we continue to fight to keep mega projects like Pebble Mine from turning Alaska's great salmon runs into mere relics of their current spectacular display of the annual cycle of life.

Originally posted to realalaskan on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech and Hunting and Fishing Kos.

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