As pressure mounts to shine more light on the question, the politics get hotter.
By Crawford Kilian, TheTyee.ca
The Cohen Commission has been quietly investigating the collapse of the 2009 Fraser sockeye run, but the reason for it may already be known.
If so, another problem threatens the wild salmon: treating scientific findings as an exercise in political message control.
Sometime in the last week of August, Dr. Kristi Miller is scheduled to testify before the Cohen Commission inquiry into the 18-year decline and, in 2009, collapse of the Fraser sockeye salmon run. Her testimony could provide a genuine explanation for that disaster, but that explanation could also foretell future collapses. And it may also bring into question the policies of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Dr. Miller, a DFO scientist, published an article in the U.S. journal Science last January. She was trying to identify reasons why so many salmon die in the rivers just before spawning — a phenomenon called prespawn mortality
By tagging some fish, and doing biopsies on them before returning them to the sea or the river, her team was able to create genetic profiles and track the fate of each of these profiles. As she wrote in the abstract of her article, "In ocean-tagged fish, a mortality-related genomic signature was associated with a 13.5-fold greater chance of dying en route." READ FULL STORY IN TYEE