Alaska 'ocean ranching' threatens wild B.C. salmon, conservationists charge

January 11, 2012 

King salmon eggs at an Alaska hatchery.

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Alaska salmon are not necessarily as "wild" as advertised, say Canadian conservation groups. Massive Alaska releases of hatchery-raised salmon are threatening wild stocks, they charge, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and Watershed Watch Salmon Society said Wednesday they plan to challenge the eco-certification awarded to the Alaskan salmon fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council, the world's biggest eco-certification regime. ...

In all, the 2011 surveillance report noted that 19 conditions of the fishery's recertification remained unfulfilled.

"Alaskan ocean ranching and hatchery operations release billions of farm-raised fish into natural eco-systems and wild salmon populations," said Aaron Hill, a biologist with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. "There is increasing scientific concern about the effect that flooding the North Pacific with these fish is having on wild salmon populations."

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