Q: What kind of water are Fraser River sockeye swimming in?

“On the Backs of Salmon”, 2006. Photo by Elan Park. GOGCS Photo Collection, G2009.030.011

A: Chemical Soup …

… according to a study conducted by McDonald Environmental Services Ltd., a research firm based out of Nanaimo. Their research tested the quality of the Fraser River water sockeye salmon swim in over the course of their lifecycles. They identified 200 chemicals in the surface waters and in the sediments at the bottom that posed potential risks to the fish, especially at their developmental stages.

While it is unlikely that contaminants are “the sole cause” of sockeye population declines, the report says there is “a strong possibility that exposure to contaminants of concern, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and/or contaminants of emerging concern has contributed to the decline of sockeye salmon.” [Read full article].

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