British Columbia salmon researchers return to Victoria
After spending more than a month at sea studying Pacific salmon, scientists and crew aboard the Coast Guard ship Sir John Franklin returned to Victoria last week.
The vessel was one of four participants in the 2022 International Year of the Salmon 2022 Pan-Pacific Winter Deep Sea Expedition, which was the largest research expedition ever to study salmon and their ecosystems in the ocean. North Pacific.
The Sir John Franklin was joined in the expedition by a research vessel from the United States, a research vessel from Russia and a commercial fishing vessel from Canada.
The expedition began in January, with the goal of better understanding how increasingly extreme climate variability in the ocean and associated changes in the physical environment are affecting abundance, distribution, migration and growth. Pacific salmon.
“Most of what we understand about salmon is what we understand in fresh water or on shore,” explained Dr. Kristi Miller-Saunders, salmon geneticist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in a video produced by the International Year of the Salmon. .
“All the different countries have tracked their salmon in fresh water and on the coasts, and very few other than the Russians have really gone far into the ocean.”
During a press conference on Friday, the crew of the Sir John Franklin shared some of what they discovered during their time at sea.
DFO researcher Dr. Jackie King said analyzing the data collected will take months, if not years, but will help improve scientific understanding of the ocean ecosystem.
“While the focus was on Pacific salmon, we have so much data and samples to look at for all the other components of the ecosystem and we will be able to analyze ecosystem health for different levels, knowing what condition the food web is in for all aspects of what lives there, not just the salmon.
For more information on Sir John Franklin’s voyage and the expedition as a whole, see the International Year of the Salmon website.