Japanese chum salmon stock enhancement: current perspective and future challenges

By Prof. Shuichi Kitada (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology)

Fisheries Science, vol. 80, no. 2, pp. 237-249 (2014)

Abstract

This study reviews the present status of the Japanese chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta stock enhancement program and considers the ecological sustainability of wild populations while providing fishery production, exemplified by the hatchery-based Kitami region set net fishery. The return rate and the number of returns have been historically high in the Sea of Okhotsk, but have decreased in other regions since 2005. Natural spawning of chum salmon occurred in at least 160 rivers in Hokkaido. The genetic diversity of Japanese chum salmon was similar to or higher than that of other Pacific Rim populations. Numbers of alleles were high at microsatellite loci, but the loss of rare haplotypes was observed in all populations. The estimated N e /N ratio for the Kitami region was >0.15 % including hatchery and wild fish under the present high fishing pressure. Four regional populations were inferred in Hokkaido, however, genetic differentiation was weak and some river-populations were nested. Substantial changes in run timing were observed, but it has recovered gradually owing to the recent practice of escapement. Our analyses highlight the importance of juvenile quality and the vital roles of escapements in enhanced and non-enhanced rivers. New research is needed to minimize the genetic risks associated with hatchery programs.

Prof. Shuichi Kitada is ….

This article was selected by the Editorial Board of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science for the purpose of distributing thoroughly useful research works in aquatic biological sciences mainly in Japan but hoping to eventually inspire worldwide interests.