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Federal ban on salmon fishing issued

April 11, 2008 | 10:07 am

Chinook_salmon_ban_in_effect

Federal regulators agreed Thursday to cancel this year's commercial and recreational catch of chinook, the prized king salmon of the fish market, off California and Oregon, Eric Bailey reports.

The ban adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council after a weeklong meeting in Seattle marks the new low point for a trade enshrined in the West since the Gold Rush, Bailey writes.

Repercussions are expected to ripple out, with the ban hurting not just fuel docks and tackle stores but also supermarkets and truck dealerships. In California alone, commercial salmon fishing is a $150-million business.

The cause? Federal scientists blame the low salmon supply on a variety of factors, but have focused on poor ocean conditions, potentially linked to global warming, that have caused the chinook's food sources to plummet.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images

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