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Sockeye salmon

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Bycatch
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General

Salmonids

There are many species that belong to the Salmonids or (Protacanthopterygii). Did you know trouts, smelts, and even pikes belong to the Salmon family? Salmonids occur in either salt and freshwater. Most species are well-specialized predators and live in temperate climate zones.  Salmonids are ray-finned fishes and can be distinguished by the ‘fat-fin’ between the backfin and tail. They do not have spikes and the pelvic and pectoral fin are separated.

Salmonids are sold farmed and wildcaught. Wildcaught salmon comes from the Pacific. Almost all Atlantic salmon on sold is farmed. Since the 90s the farming of salmon increased dramatically. Norway, chile, Scotland, Canada and the Faroe islands are important farming countries for salmon. In both, wild-caught and farmed salmon problems in sustainability are prevalent.

 

 

 

Sockeye salmon

Sockeye salmon, red salmon, kokanee salmon or bluebak salmon is one of the five salmon species that can be found in the northern Pacific Ocean and its adjacent rivers. Most salmon species are anadromous: they are born in fresh water (rivers) and migrate to sea where they spend most of their life. They return back to their birth grounds to spawn after 2-5 years. However, some sockeye populations live closed off from sea in lakes and rivers. Sockeye gets on average 45 cm long, with a maximum length of 45 cm and weighs 2.3 – 7  kg. Salmon only reproduce once in their lifetime, they die shortly after reproduction. Salmon are keystone species in the ecosystem and are a very important food source for birds, bears, otters and other wildlife.

 

 

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-east and north-west (FAO 61|67)

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines, Pots and traps, Handlines and pole-lines (hand operated), Driftnets, Gillnets

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Explanation assessment

Several fisheries on sockeye salmon have been MSC-certifiedMSC Certified:
Fisheries that comply with the Marine Stewardship Council assessment criteria and are certified. Fish products with the blue MSC label are caught by sustainable fisheries.
; in Alaska, Canada and Russia. These use many different catching methods, including the ‘fish wheel’ which is a watermill like structure with nets attached to it that catch fish from the stream, after which they are collected in a tank. The Pacific salmon fishery is well regulated and the methods do little damage to the environment.

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-east (FAO 67)

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines, Hooks and lines, Gillnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Sockeye salmon [stocks] in Alaska are doing well.

Catching Sockeye salmon with [purse seine] or gillnets has little bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
of protected or undersizedUndersized fish:
Fish smaller than a prescribed minimum size. These sizes are determined per species and per country. For Europe, a minimum landing size applies to all EU Member States. 
fish species. There are also little discards. These methods have little to no effect on the seabed. What the effect is of supplying the stock with farmed salmon is unknown.

The management in Alaska is well done by determining [escapement goals] for the most important stocks by intensive monitoring. The most critical points in the salmon fishery are well managed.

 

 

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-west (FAO 61)

Farming- / Catch method

Fyke

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Sockeye salmon is only a small part of the salmon fishery in Russia, and is mainly bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
in the Chum and Pink salmon fishery. The Sockeye stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
is doing well.

Fykes have generally little negative effects on vulnerable species. The size of the negative impact of the fyke fishery on the endangered Taimen salmon is unclear, but a negative effect is expected. Fish that are bycatch in the fyke can often be discarded with a high survivability.

The management of this salmon is partially effective.

 

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-east (FAO 67)
Deelgebieden: British Columbia

Farming- / Catch method

Purse seines, Hooks and lines, Gillnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The sockeye salmon stock in Canada / British Columbia is in a bad state. Some sockeye salmon stocks are on the IUCN red list of endangered species. A part of the stock is knowingly not fished, so the salmon get time to reproduce. How large this part needs to be for a sustainable salmon stock is determined in so called ‘escapement goals’. These goals are often not met because there still is more salmon caught. The effects of the fishery on vulnerable salmon stocks is still unknown. There are measures in making to reduce the fishing pressure on salmon. Sockeye is mainly fished with gillnets, seines and hooks and lines. These methods can have different effects on the ecosystem. With hooks and lines there is bycatch of bottom fish. This bycatch is often landed. Fishing with gillnets and seines have relatively little bycatch of protected or undersized fish. These methods also don’t disturb the seabed. The effects of supplying the the salmon stock with farmed salmon are unknown. The disappearing of salmon has large effects on the nutrient supply of fresh water ecosystems.

 

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-west (FAO 61)

Farming- / Catch method

Driftnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Sockeye salmon is only a small part of the salmon fishery in Russia, and is mainly bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
in the Chum and Pink salmon fishery. The Sockeye stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
is doing well.

[Driftnets] are a danger for vulnerable sea birds, dolphins and whales. It is estimated that there is a lot of bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
and discardsDiscards:
Unwanted by-catch, which is thrown back because there is no quota, the market price is too low, or the fish is below the legal minimum landing size. Discards can be alive or dead.
with this fishery. Unfortunately, there is a lack of reliable data on this.

IUUIUU:
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. 
(Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated) fishing is a large problem in this fishery. Catches are not or wrongly reported to the authorities. The management of this species is not effective.

Sockeye salmon

Oncorhynchus nerka
Origin

Pacific Ocean, north-west (FAO 61)

Farming- / Catch method

Gillnets

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ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

By-catch

This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.