BC’s iconic salmon are facing an upstream battle as climate change takes its toll on the environment.
Dr. Ian Perry is an oceanographer with the Department of Fisheries, and on Monday during a panel presentation, he gave an overview of how climate change is impacting the oceans, and how it’ll affect west coast salmon.
Dr. Perry says the trend is moving towards warmer oceans, and warm water is not good for salmon.
He says last year was particularly warm, with three aggravating factors; extremely warm conditions, a warm blob of water in the northeast Pacific, and El Nino conditions.
But not only are salmon facing issues in the oceans, warmer fresh water temperatures are also a threat.
The concern for salmon this year’s salmon are the warm river conditions, and how many actually make it to the spawning grounds.
The longer term outlook depends on how the climate changes, and Dr. Perry says the trend is towards warmer waters.
Dr. Perry says it can be hard to talk about salmon in general terms, since there are five different species each with specific conditions.
He adds, while the oceans are always changing and adjusting, not all the changes will be considered positive for humans.