Hatcheries are a great tool to give a weakened salmon population a boost, but can managers resist the urge to ramp up fisheries when they return? That’s what went wrong with SEP the first time. Increasing fishing pressure on the boosted population just turns into dependency and if harvests are in the mixed-stock fishery we just put more pressure on the other stocks that the swim with. This kind of overfishing erodes genetic diversity that gives Pacific salmon the vitality to withstand pressures from climate change and disease. So can we keep it in our pants or will we fish salmon to commercial extinction in another decade?
Hatcheries create an unequal footing. Fish Culturists maximize feed ratios for maximum growth. This is wrong, sample wild fish in the system and raise hatchery fish to that same weight. This takes away the genetic advantage of hatchery over wild fish. More fish in the system but at all the same weight becomes survival of the fittest.