Seafood lovers worldwide have a fascination with the salmon of Alaska. A study published on Nature Communications reveals that climate change has affected this species of fish. There have been reports about wildlife falling prey to climate change but the salmon is a new find. It seems the size of the fish is in focus. The fish are getting smaller and it is a matter of concern for seafood lovers and the fishing community.

Alaska boasts of five species of the fish and researchers say the size of four of them has shrunk. It has been a gradual process that has spanned six decades. The difference has become more noticeable since 2010 – they have become stunted.

Chinook is the official species of Alaska and it has become eight percent smaller when compared to the average size of the 1990s. The study was carried out on millions of samples and researchers observed that the reduction in size was applicable to other species of salmon like the sockeye, coho, and chum.

Daily Mail UK says the study confirms what the locals have been witnessing over generations. It is an undisputed fact that the salmon are smaller, and the researchers attribute it to climate change. They blame it on the rise in temperature of the seas.

Climate plays a major role in the wellbeing of salmon

Climate change due to global warming makes for warmer seas. That, in turn, leads to a stage where there is intense competition among different species to survive. This could be a factor responsible for the fish shrinkage. The study points out that salmon are now maturing in the ocean at an early age.

When they return to freshwater, they are younger, and the size is smaller than what it used to be in the past. Daily Mail UK adds that salmon lovers associate the Yukon River with its Chinooks. It seems the big ones that were a common sight in the past are seldom visible today. Moreover, the Chinooks that return are too young, hardly four years old.

Salmon lovers feel disappointed with the smaller-sized variety.

Salmon is a good business proposal

Commercial fishermen in Alaska minted millions by selling their harvest of more than 206 million salmon last year. The species is a favorite of those who love seafood. It is also a dietary staple for the local population.

Daily Mail UK reminds us that there are bears and other wildlife of Alaska who feed on the salmon. Obviously, in the present context, they would get only the smaller fish that would disturb the balance.

There will be a cascading effect and result in fewer salmon eggs over a period. That will have an impact on the salmon population. The result would be a gradual decrease in the availability of the fish. As Peter Westley says – "If you lose the diversity of fish and only have small fish, then you're in troubled waters." He is from UAF's College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and co-author of the study.

Alaskan salmon are becoming smaller

According to CNN, two factors that are reducing the size of Alaskan salmon are climate change and competition from the pink salmon in the North Pacific. The study brought out the fact that the fish are spending less time out in the open Pacific Ocean. They have begun to return to the rivers earlier.

Eric Palkovacs, a professor, says - "It seems that the ocean is becoming a riskier place to be." The study was on four species of fish in Alaska, and residents confirmed the reduction in the size of salmon. Incidentally, in November 2015, there was news about a revolutionary new fish species with more omega three than salmon.

Climate change influences the lifestyle of today. The world has to take it seriously and introduce remedial measures. There must be sincere efforts to arrest global warming and ensure the safety of the environment. It supports all living beings. People must learn to switch loyalties from fossil fuels to Renewable Energy to protect the environment and all living beings on Earth.

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