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Bob Larson Chinook to Orcas Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: July 06, 2018

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I'm Bob Larson. A Washington pro-farming group wants to help save the salmon, but insist we're going about in the wrong way. Save Family Farming director Gerald Baron says the Harbor Seal population explosion in the North Puget Sound is a major reason recovery efforts for the Chinook salmon have been failing ...

BARON ... "...and that is because Killer Whales in the other areas, which by the way also doubled in numbers in that same period, Killer Whales eat Harbor Seals except for the resident pods around the San Juan Islands. They're finicky eaters I guess and they only want adult Chinook salmon."

The problem is, Baron says since the Marine Mammal Act of 1972, the Harbor Seals population in the Salish Sea has grown over 900 percent, from 86-hundred to nearly 78-thousand ...

BARON ... "And the recovery story is wonderful, but what they didn't really count on, the unintended consequence, is in a particular area where there isn't a natural predator for the Harbor Seals, that they would just explode and end up really upsetting the whole balance that there should be."

Baron says the Harbor Seals eat much of the smolts, the baby Chinooks which then don't turn into the adult salmon the Orcas eat ...

BARON ... "Unless there is some adjustment made to that so that the numbers of Harbor Seals can be reduced, we're going to continue seeing Chinook decline and no further investments in habitat or in stream flows or anything like that are going to help solve the problem."

Tune in tomorrow to hear about the solution Save Family Farming has for the Chinook recovery.

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