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On the shores of Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada, where salmon return to spawn each season, millions of these fish have vanished. Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans expected up to 11 million sockeye salmon to return, but roughly 5.45 percent have come back.
“A record number of the young salmon were born in 2005 and then swam out to sea in 2007 after maturing upstream. They were expected to begin returning to spawn this month” (Earthweek.com).
Speculation over the sockeye disappearance include “sea lice picked up by wild salmon from farmed salmon, warmer river water temperatures which weaken the salmon, or temperature changes in the ocean reducing regular food sources” (National Post).
The mysterious disappearance could have a dramatic effect on the 52,000 people employed by the fishing industry, including an estimated loss of $1.6 billion of revenue (ibid.).