Alaskan Salmon Sick of Climate Change

Scientists blame global warming for 'white spot disease'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2008 7:24 PM CDT
Salmon sit on ice at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Alaskan king salmon are getting sick, and experts have named a culprit: global warming. Marine ecologists say that a rise in "white spot disease" is tied to a 3-decade trend of higher temperatures in the Yukon River, the Los Angeles Times reports. With cold-temperature barriers melting, parasites and bacteria are moving north—and threatening Alaska's prized salmon stock.

"Everything is getting warmer, and that's how climate change is going to redistribute all kinds of disease,” one scientist said. Alaskan state officials are playing down the issue, but fishermen are at their wit’s end. "I don't want to kill fish for the sake of killing them," one said. “I want to use the damned things."