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Environmental Science Wednesday February 26 1997Among the many kinds of fish harvested each year by commercial fisheries is theOncorhynchus tshawytscha or Chinook salmon The United States catches anaverages of about three hundred million pounds of salmon each year Howeversome Chinook salmon have been recently listed as threatened Man has been themain cause for the decline in Chinook salmon populationsThe populations of Chinook salmon have declined for several reasons Hydropowerand its destructiveness to the environment pollution and overfishing are thethree main causes for the decline The Chinook salmon is known for travelingthe greatest distance back to its spawning grounds often traveling one to twothousand miles inland This long journey is now often interrupted byhydroelectric plants Hydropower is a very good alternative resource for powerhowever it is very damaging to our salmon populations The dams block offrivers which block the salmons path back to their breeding grounds Thesalmon go back to the same areas just as their ancestors did to lay their eggsThe hydropower plants turbines are also very dangerous to young salmon Manyof them are killed by the giant turbines on their way back to the oceanKilling off many of the salmons new generation Pollution is also a killer ofmany Chinook salmon Pollution caused by sewage farming grazing logging andmining find its way into our waters These harmful substances kill manyspecies of fish and other marine life The Chinook salmon is no exception Thechemicals are dumped into the rivers and streams and eventually these chemicalsfind their way to the ocean polluting and effecting each area they pass throughThe largest contributor to the decline in the Chinook salmon population is thecommercial fishing industry From a period of 1990-1992 815000 Chinook salmonwere caught by commercial fisheries This does not include the 354000recreational catches Commercial fishing is a big industry Commercial fishersuse nets which they pull by boats Some nets are designed so the holes in thenets are large enough for the head of the fish to fit through
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