This Friday, you get a chance to eat some wild baked Salmon at Ocean Beach, at about 6:30pm, when SalmonAid 2009 kicks off its awareness-building campaign.
The full festival happens this weekend (Saturday & Sunday, June 20-21) at Jack London Square in Oakland.
What do the festival organizers want you to be aware of?
- Wild salmon populations have declined drastically, especially in California. Rivers and streams that were former spawning grounds (like the Sacramento and Klamath rivers) have been diverted, drained, or buried due to dams, silt, and other things.
- Eating wild salmon right now, even when the population is low, is actually good for the industry. Why? Simple demand and supply. If you demand the wild Pacific stuff (and even ignore the salmon that is marketed as organically, ecologically, or sustainably-farmed), then the power of the fork and pocketbook will drive demand for reform.
- Promoting the growth of the farmed salmon industry reinforces farming practices that inhibit growth of wild salmon in the same area due to things like releasing of sea lice that appear in overcrowded conditions, or escaped farmed salmon that have been bred to feed on grain materials, and anything in sight.
If you have any other information (pro or con), and would like to educate the readers, please post in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll look for you at Ocean Beach this Friday!
This festival is being organized by over two dozen organizations – including the one I work for, the Tuolumne River Trust. While these groups of enviros, fishing orgs, and tribes are sometimes at odds with each other, we have put aside our differences and come together out of our love for wild salmon and our desire to see them restored to the rivers and the plates of the West Coast. For example, we all agree that major restoration of our rivers and estuaries will be needed if we are to have local fishable populations of salmon again, which will include removing certain dams, and reducing water diversions. We know what to do to help, but it will require great political will. If you’d like to join us in calling for these solutions, please visit the following link to send an email to the Obama administration: http://ga0.org/campaign/salmonaid2009