In August I charted this highly advanced graph:
I’m certainly curious whether anyone has actually done any specific research on this topic (?)
Curiously, this type of research has been done on human-elephant interactions in Africa. Just the other day I came across this study and was quite surprised with the strong relationship with my graph from August.
The decline in the range and numbers of elephants as a result of expanding human activity in Africa is recognized as one of the continent’s most serious conservation problems. Understanding the relationship between human settlement patterns and elephant abundance is fundamental to predicting the viability of elephant populations.
Basically… humans and elephants do fine together up to a point — but… once human settlement reaches a certain density — no more elephants.
_ _ _ _ _
So what about salmon?
If you start looking at the map I started this post with… it probably starts to look this:
Hmmm… do you see a pattern maybe?
For example, 95% of Japan’s commercial salmon fisheries are based on salmon ranching efforts… not much left for wild stocks… not much room.
Seems like salmon are ‘done, near extinction‘ or in ‘big trouble‘ (technical terms) in the same places where human populations and density are expanding rapidly. Like California, for example, where there’s more people (35 million or so) then all of Canada, and more cars then people…
Great for movie making and highway building… not so good for water supplies; really bad for salmon range — really, really bad for salmon.
_ _ _ _ _
Was human density in relation to salmon populations one of the twelve “scientific” studies initiated by the Cohen Commission into declines of Fraser sockeye?
No…And fair enough…
But there is this federal government agency (with a hefty budget) that is responsible for looking into these things.
If salmon really, really mattered to governments — and the like — it’s probably something that should be looked at. There’s a heckuva lot more we can do about human settlement density (and it’s effluent) than we can about the North Pacific Gyre, or Aleutian Low, or those two pesky kids: El Nino and La Nina
Yet many scientists and researchers — who coincidentally earn their living from research — are lobbying hard for more research on the ocean environment and its effects on salmon…
Maybe resources could focus on things we can actually do something about… like freshwater habitat, for example.
Not to say ocean research doesn’t have it’s place… it’s just that we’re not going to find the “smoking gun” out there. It’s kind of big… and vast…
_ _ _ _ _
Are salmon as important to the people of the Pacific Rim as elephants are to Africa?
Is trying to understand the relationship between human settlement patterns and salmon abundance fundamental to predicting the viability of salmon populations?