Chapter 7  Partners for Salmon

Key Concepts


Partnerships of many kinds are crucial to protecting and restoring Pacific wild salmon stocks and the habitats that support their various life stages.


Chapter Objectives


Students will be able to:

·        explain why partnerships among individuals, tribes, businesses, harvesters, and state, federal, international, and non-governmental organizations are essential to preserving the health of Alaska’s wild salmon;

·        describe the goals and activities of major agencies and organizations working to protect Alaska’s wild salmon, their habitats, and their economic, social, and spiritual role in the lives of Alaskans; and

·        demonstrate how they can play a role in determining how Alaska salmon stocks will be managed.


Terms Students Should Know


market niche – a small market segment developed for specialty products, such as the idea of “wild” salmon as opposed to farmed, or the use of “ecolabels” to promote sustainable salmon to people concerned about the environment.


Background for Teachers


Since partnerships change frequently, type “Alaska salmon partnerships” into a search engine. You should get references to a wide range of agencies—Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sea Grant, and others.


Questions For Discussion


1. Why are partnerships important to the successful management of salmon in Alaska? How do individuals, harvesters, businesses, tribes, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations work to sustain salmon in your community?


2. According to p. 58 in Alaska’s Wild Salmon, Alaska has at least three state agencies, plus the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, responsible for managing salmon and the habitats affecting them. Why not streamline state government and have one agency handle the whole job?

Refer to the missions of the various departments on p. 58 of Alaska’s Wild Salmon and ask students to think about how they might interact and/or conflict. Students can also search the web pages of the departments, under State of Alaska, to see their missions and activities.

3. How is the book's title Alaska’s Wild Salmon inaccurate in terms of what we’ve learned about Pacific salmon life cycle and management?

Salmon may start their life in Alaska but they feed in the open ocean, sometimes for years, before returning to spawn. Some of the fish caught by Alaskans were spawned in streams outside the state.

4. If Alaskan stocks of wild Pacific salmon are healthy, why should we bother making treaties and agreements with other states such as Washington and Oregon, and countries such as Canada, Japan, and Russia? What do we gain from such treaties and international efforts? Some students might research treaties and agreements affecting other natural resources in Alaska, such as whales, migratory waterfowl, wetlands, and others.

Students might search the web for International Whaling Commission, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, North American Waterfowl Treaty, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, and international organizations listed on pages 60-61 of Alaska’s Wild Salmon.

5. Are you aware of efforts to market farmed salmon in your community? Talk with local retailers, food stores, restaurants, discount chains, etc. about the sources of the salmon they sell.


Ideas for Activities


1. If a “concerned and involved public” (Alaska’s Wild Salmon, p. 55) is crucial to maintaining healthy salmon stocks in Alaska, what agencies and procedures have been set up to foster that concern and involvement? Ask students as individuals or groups to research and report to the class on the roles of the five agencies described on pp. 58-59 of Alaska’s Wild Salmon, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, plus any salmon-related programs relevant to your community (See pp. 60-61 of Alaska’s Wild Salmon).


2. Students should be familiar with all terms in the Glossary (p. 63 in Alaska’s Wild Salmon). Individuals or groups of students could reinforce their understanding by creating crossword puzzles or Word Searches using these terms and others introduced in the Teacher’s Guide.


3. As individuals or groups, have students develop a simple basic plan for a business or activity in their community that will affect salmon habitat. Have them:

·   identify effects their project would have on salmon habitat;

·   decide how they would find out about effects they might not be aware of; and

·   find out what regulations they would need to follow and which agencies they would need to deal with to achieve their goals.

Students might plan:

·   building on a waterfront lot;

·   expanding a ball field near a stream or wetlands;

·   building a fishing lodge;

·   building a golf course; or

·   starting a sawmill, etc.

4. Is there a change in salmon fishing regulations that students or community members would like to see put in place? Have students prepare a proposal for the Alaska Board of Fisheries and plan how they would present their proposal.


5. If students did not propose new salmon products or marketing plans in an earlier chapter, now might be a good time for them to do it.


Resources Especially for Teachers


Pacific Salmon Fisheries: Climate, Information and Adaptation in a Conflict-Ridden Context

This web site contains the text of “Pacific Salmon Fisheries: Climate, Information and Adaptation in a Conflict-Ridden Context” by Kathleen Miller of the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. See especially Section 4. The Case of the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Resources for Students and Teachers


Pacific Salmon Fisheries: Climate, Information and Adaptation in a Conflict-Ridden Context

This web site, listed above for teacher reference, gives an excellent description of the Pacific Salmon Treaty and reasons for its development. See especially section 1. Introduction, 3. Marine Fisheries, Ownership, and Adaptation, and 4. The Case of the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

Alaska Eskimo Whaling

This web site of Norway’s High North Alliance describes the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and its connection with international agreements on whaling.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This site of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service summarizes the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and its achievements.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This site of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posts A Guide to the Laws and Treaties of the United States for Protecting Migratory Birds

Looking Ahead


Many classes end their study of salmon with a celebration that involves the community. This can be a good way to reinforce what students have learned, and to share their work with their parents and others.


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