Fish Tag Recovery
Salmon tagging, using both disks and electronic tags, is an important method for scientists to study salmon populations and how they might be impacted by changing oceans. If you happen to find these tags, it is important that they are returned to the researchers, in order to collect this data. More information can be found here.
Otoliths, or fish ear bones, can provide useful information on the age, growth rate, life history, recruitment, and taxonomy of salmon, and are therefore widely used in fisheries management. More information can be found here.
Since 1993, the NPAFC has been collecting salmonid catch and hatchery release statistics from information reported by Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the USA. This data is available to the public and downloadable here.
Status of Stocks
Since 1998, the NPAFC has compiled numerous reports on the status of salmon stocks in the North Pacific, which can be downloaded here.
Estimating escapement, or the number of salmon that “escape” fisheries (i.e., are not harvested) and return to fresh water to spawn, is important for forecasting production of the next generation and managing these populations. More information on estimates by the NPAFC member countries can be found here.
Sampling for DNA
Genetic stock identification is one of most reliable methods to estimate the population origins of salmon caught in the ocean. A guide on how to best collect genetic samples from fresh or frozen salmon can be found here.
Between Russia, Canada, Japan, and the United States, there are about ten research vessels regularly deployed into the North Pacific to conduct scientific research. Learn more about the vessels here.