Seal Lies or Sea Lice?
August 31, 2016 Leave a comment
Recent reports in the BS media (I’ve given up calling it MSM), and social media especially (which is giving a whole new connotation to S&M), would have us believe sea lice are the cause of the estimated, and rather dismal, 853,000 sockeye salmon run return this year.
Lice and tigers and bears, oh my!
With 2.3 million sockeye having been predicted, being generous, that’s a deficit of about 1.5 million missing in action.
However, despite Alexandra Morton’s video, there is actually better evidence to suggest the run’s reduction is linked to seal predation.
Harbour seal populations in BC have skyrocketed since 1975. The graph below shows just two areas of BC (Skeena River and Strait of Georgia) and only spans from 1975 to 1997.
Two areas belie the fact that 127,000 individual seals were counted in BC during a 1998 aerial survey.
At the exponential rate of reproduction illustrated it is not out of the realm of possibility that there are now a million seals eating salmon off the coast of BC.
A million seals? Is that possible? Are there even that many sea lice in BC waters? (kidding).
On the Atlantic coast of Canada seal populations are seeing similar exponential increases, going from 1.5 million to about 6.5 million in the same time period (1975 – 1995) and show no signs of slowing down.
North Atlantic Seal Population
The same kinds of increases are being reported in Norway.
So, getting back to the menu of the day, if there are a million seals in BC waters, and they each were rationed to just 1 salmon every 8 months…that would be a reduction of 1,500,000 salmon in a year.
Is anyone else beginning to wonder whether seals, and not sea lice, would be the most probable cause of declining numbers of returning salmon?
How many cases of starving seals have been reported by the BSM?
If I was a juvenile salmon, I would be far more concerned about waters infested with seals everywhere, than travelling by a few pens here and there.
And yet, what kind of stories are we being constantly fed about the plight of the poor, cute seals?
Here’s the latest – Seal Escapes Killer Whales
With all due respect, if you love salmon and/or are concerned about reduced salmon stocks, and/or the First Nations members who say they will be without food this year, and/or the fishermen, both commercial and private, who won’t be smoking salmon this year, ask yourself this question –
“In order to help salmon stocks, should the salmon eating seal have been kicked off the boat to literally become part of a killer whale, which sadly, from what I have been led to believe, is another endangered species?”
Good question, eh?…and good luck with answering it…
My guess is virtually everyone was rooting for the underdog (which is ironic considering seals are Caniformes, more closely related to dogs and bears than other sea mammals) and didn’t give a moment’s thought to the 1.5 million missing salmon…