Sticky Fishies: Diseases Affecting Wild Salmon Supply
Photo by Unhindered by Talent via Flickr
You can't fight the funk: scientists are just beginning to discover some of the more insidious effects of creeping global warming, which is about to put polar bears on the endangered species list -- and wild Alaskan salmon may be next. Alaskan fisheries, long been overflowing with magnificent salmon supplies, are now threatened with a sticky situation: warmer waters in the northern climes are breeding yucky bacteria called Ichthyophonus hoferi --or, Ich. The bacteria, while harmless to humans, makes the salmon mushy and unappetizing, as well as resistant to crucial preservation methods like drying. From the LA Times:
The chinook salmon they pulled from the Yukon River about 700 miles inland didn't smell right. It wasn't an instant, gag-inducing stench. It was more subtle but grew into an unpleasant odor of fruit rotting in the hot sun. More important, the flesh turned mealy. The salmon didn't dry right in smokehouses either. Instead of turning into rich red strips of salmon jerky, they turned black and oily like strips of greasy rotten mango.