"Climate Change Played Key Role In B.C. Sockeye Stocks Collapse, Say Scientists"

"VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Food-poor, predator-rich ocean waters caused by climate change likely played a significant role in decimating millions of sockeye salmon in British Columbia's Fraser River ahead of what was supposed to be a bumper year, says a scientific think tank.

A group of more than 20 ocean and ecology experts gathered in Vancouver this week to discuss possible explanations for this year's salmon collapse and announced their assessment on Wednesday, saying they want to keep the issue afloat with a judicial inquiry approaching.

Last month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed a B.C. Supreme Court judge to probe the collapse of the stocks, but the scientists say there's much work that can be done in the meantime.

The group recommended improved forecasting, more ocean-based marine research and a more precautionary approach to fisheries management."

Tamsyn Burgmann reports for the Canadian Press December 9, 2009.

Thursday, December 10, 2009