Wild salmon and coral both in trouble, say studies
Infestations of sea lice (ew) in salmon farms off the west coast of Canada are threatening local wild salmon populations — to the extent that the wild fish could be extinct within four years, says a new study published in Science. While the researchers focused on fish populations off the coast of British Columbia, they believe their findings could be applicable anywhere there’s a high density of fish farms where wild salmon also run. But the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans remains unconvinced: “They are asking us to believe 80 percent mortality is from one source,” says Brian Riddell of the department. “That’s simply unrealistic.” Also published in Science today was a study stating that climate change is moving global coral colonies “toward the tipping point of functional collapse.” By 2050, too-acidic ocean waters could keep 98 percent of corals from growing; by 2100, if CO2 levels keep rising, every reef could be dying. Really, is there anything we’re not effing up?