Fusion.net has done an amazing job in this mixed media presentation on the history and importance of this incredible species. We strongly urge you to check it out in it’s entirety at the Fusion website.
The story of the world’s largest wild salmon fishery.
Salmon, often known as the King of Fish, was once one of the most abundant creatures in the sea, dominating the waters in the northern hemisphere. Unfortunately it’s impossible to swim upstream forever, and in recent centuries, as industrialized human development spread across much of Europe and the United States, salmon populations decreased dramatically.
Although now extinct in many of the rivers where they once bred, Pacific salmon still have something of a hold on their kingdom in the West. The five species of salmon that reign in the Pacific Northwest are the Pink, Chum, Sockeye, Coho, and Chinook salmon. The lesser-known Masu salmon inhabits the Western Pacific, off the coast of East Asia. Together, these six species account for nearly all of the wild salmon eaten in the world.
Atlantic salmon haven’t been as fortunate as their Pacific kin. Due largely to human development in the form of dams, pollution, and overfishing, Atlantic salmon populations have plummeted in the past three centuries. The result is that a species once hundreds of millions strong is now listed as endangered. With a few small exceptions, all of the Atlantic salmon eaten today is raised in a fish farm; in fact, about 75% of the salmon eaten worldwide is farmed fish.