Pink Salmon –
Much discussion has taken place over the past few months regarding the appearance of a certain strain of Pacific Salmon which, due to a number of factors, have turned up throughout the North Atlantic in what would seem, bigger numbers than before?.
So why? What is the catalyst for this invasion?
Invasion! Just think of the word and think of every invasion you have heard, or read about? Remember too, although much higher up the food chain, we are animals with a basic need to eat and reproduce. But enough about us for now.
Invasions take place when any “vacuum” appears. As an example, when man overfished cod in the Grand Banks in the north west Atlantic, the vacuum created favoured smaller prey fish, all of which thrived in those waters after their main predator disappeared, exterminated by mans technological advances, namely, the trawl net.
Cod were so badly overfished here, a moratorium was placed on this species and with the exception of research, all fishing was suspended. Amazing, when you think they were once so abundant, an early method of fishing was dropping a a basket with a rock attached to the bottom and pulling it straight back up! The trawl net, man’s superior intelligence and greed, was responsible for this vacuum, not nature, global warming or anything else, it was man and his Miss management per se.!
Although the vacuum had been created by man, “nature” was already at work, patching the wound delivered by the sawed of our superior intelligence. Prawns, shrimp, Caplin etc, were now abundant in those areas, but man being man, it didn’t take long for us to start harvesting them too. Interestingly, another vacuum was being created and another invasion about to take place.
This time the invasion was pleasure boats and water sports taking the place of once thriving fishing communities. Interestingly, the same model has followed the Grand Banks into our fishing communities here in the U.K. With the exception of a few, our once thriving fishing communities are now pleasure harbours, with the odd small fishing boat, fishing for lobsters and pleasure fishing with rod and line, but mainly sailing boats, water skiing, seal and Dolphin watching etc. The invasion took lace because of the vacuum, which in this case was overfishing and miss management of our inshore fisheries.
Now back to the Pinks.
Thinking of the above, take one species away their domain will soon be swallowed up with another, and, if left to nature, with no interference from man, or anything else, species will adapt perfectly to this he environment.
My own thinking in this particular question is – It would seem those Pinks introduced in the Kola region in the 1950s are better suited, possibly because of their different juvenile life cycle, or habits in the ocean, questions that targeted research could answer fairly easily.
One thing we know for sure is that they are a biannual species and their next appearance “on mass” will be 2019. We will know then if this invasion has been successful, again, given their slow colonisation and the the continuing decline of Atlantic Salmon, nothing would suggest this will not continue. Time, as they say, will tell. If it is the case they are somehow better adapted to deal with all those things affecting Atlantic Salmon, terrible as it sounds, the fact they don’t migrate so far will impact on both our native salmon and sea trout. The void/vacuum has been created by years of inept miss,Angeleno of our salmon stock. The species need to exist in large numbers to survive. Until around the late 1930s, this perfect scenario was created by us as a byproduct of man killing all predators that ate salmon. It should come as any surprise to any man with a brain that by stopping this, the balance would begin to tip, this time not in favour of our native salmon. This is a fish with now zero protection and who’s numbers are at critical levels. Is it any wonder a potentially more adaptable species is showing an interest in the territory of “The King”….?
All of the above releases to “Change” and those species more suited to living in the latest Vacuum created by man. Examples
Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout – Massive increase in predation. Man stopping culling Seals, Whales, Goosanders and everything’s else that once ate them = Population collapse = Vacuum/Void created = Seal, Dolphin and Bird Watch. It has to be said, for those guys who don’t understand, like, or in anyway need salmon, the latter is a much better option.
I read that Atlantic Salmon are more aggressive than their Pacific cousin, however, it could easily be, given all the actions of man, both fishing and predator management, a much lower biomass now means simply not enough to fend off its once nondescript cousin. 2019 will reveal a great deal. Hopefully our champions will fend off this threat! That’s my heart speaking, my mind tells me something else.