RE: NANFA-- Speaking announcement for John Volpe (Atlantic

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sat, 12 Oct 2002 19:28:14 -0400

I've been payin' attention for a while... When I was living in Boston I knew
some people involved with the International Atlantic Salmon Federation which
was involved with trying to protect the remaining native runs of salmon in
New England and the Maritimes. It's a typically messy story of long-term
human mistakes such as heavily damned rivers being compounded by sloppy
modern aquaculture practices.

Even trying to determine the historic range of Atlantic salmon is
controversial. Many researchers thought that the Hudson River in NY was the
southern limit of the species. But archeological digs in Indian middens
(garbage pits) along the Hudson reveal no salmon bones, unlike similar
middens in the Connecticut River valley and further north that are full of
salmon bones.

Many of the historic river populations are extinct. And efforts to "plant"
hatchery fingerlings in river tributaries are mostly unsuccessful, probably
underscoring how unique a set of genetic adaptations each river population
had to its birth river.

So it's a big mess. And with regional climate warming, that should restrict
Atlantic salmon to more northerly rivers than was true at the time of
European contact.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: "Kris Harvey" <>
>Subject: RE: NANFA-- Speaking announcement for John Volpe (Atlantic
>Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 13:49:39 -0400
>>From: "Bruce Stallsmith" <>
>>Subject: RE: NANFA-- Speaking announcement for John Volpe (Atlantic
>>Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 11:11:08 -0400
>>Actually, people ARE farming Atlantic salmon around the North Atlantic,
>>from Maine to the Canadian Maritimes to the British Isles and especially
>>Norway. Even farming a native species has problems, because the farm stock
>>is genetically homogenous and almost always different from local river
>>runs. Because native salmon populations have been badly reduced, there's a
>>major threat of local populations being genetically swamped by farm
>>escapees. The local populations are genetically distinct from each other
>>through adaptation to local conditions, so a large evolutionary heritage
>>is disappearing. And I haven't even mentioned local problems from the
>>production of concentrated salmon poop in stationary pens in bays (hint:
>>tides DON'T flush it out).
>>--Bruce Stallsmith
>>Huntsville, AL, US of A
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