Despite efforts by the hatchery welfare state supporters to question all the science that shows hatchery fish harm wild fish, new research shows that hatchery raised fish are negatively affecting wild runs.
Every spring, hatcheries in Alaska release more than a billion year-old pink and chum salmon. The fish spend a year out at sea growing up before they return to be caught by the state’s fishing fleet. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Of the roughly 1.8 billion fish released each year in the state, about 100 to 200 million make it back from the ocean. Of those that survive to adulthood, fishers catch almost 99 percent. Inevitably, though, some salmon evade the nets and make their way into local rivers and streams to spawn alongside their wild relatives.
There are concerns that these hatchery-raised fish might be negatively affecting wild salmon populations, either by disrupting their spawning, or by breeding with them and weakening the gene pool.
LINK (via: Hakai Magazine)