Climate change has become dangerous, affecting the huge wild salmon in the Pacific Ocean.
The ice water has turned to bright orange and lost its momentum dramatically, which affected the fish greatly and their size started shrinking.
New instructions were issued regarding the purchase of salmon from wholesalers, specifically in the Ivar restaurant, located on the waterfront of Seattle for more than eighty years.
The head-chef refuses the increasing quantities of salmon arriving in his kitchen.
This shrinkage has led to logistical problems, as many salmon are so small that they fall from the fish sorting machines and do not meet the complete food market specifications and Ivar’s cooking requirements.
The consequences of this phenomenon are still relatively limited, as it is more of a nuisance than a serious problem. However, scientists are predicting future changes that could be costly.
Most importantly, it also raises the alarm about the growing crisis afflicting many salmon populations.
Many scientists said that the ongoing climate change is raising the alarm, leading to increased competition for food.
After decades of collapsing cod fisheries in the Atlantic, experts today fear that Pacific salmon will face the same fate.
Salmon are essential creatures in their surroundings. Scientists call them cornerstone genera, considering that other animals, such as bears and eagles, feed on them.
They also indirectly spread nutrients into other ecosystems, including forests.
Salmon move from freshwater streams to the ocean, then return to freshwater to reproduce and end their lives.
Consequently, their life cycle renders them particularly vulnerable to changing temperatures and transformation to the environment.
The shrinking of the size of Alaskan salmon is due, in part, to the return of the fish from the ocean to these areas at a younger age than before.
Scientists have not been able to explain the reason for this yet.
A harbinger of a change
Peter Westley of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who contributed to a study on salmon’s size published last year, says: “When the size and number of fish shrink, this is a harbinger of change that many scientists see as an indicator of the presence of danger”.
It is worth noting that the sight of rivers rich in Atlantic salmon fades from memory. This is due to overfishing and loss of habitat. Fishing nets have been shrinking salmon’s sizes for years.
Johns Hutch, Jr., is a tribal councilor in a community of 40 families along a river whose name in locals’s language means “the winter’s tank of salmon”.
He believes that “there is something very strange in the ocean, and we wish we were able to fix it,” as he put it.
This community relies on revenue from salmon fishing, prompting Hoch Jr. to demand stricter environmental protections against mining and other threats.