News Releases

Senator Murray urges new momentum to support salmon populations in Washington state and across the globe

(Washington, D.C.) – As part of her ongoing efforts to protect and bolster Washington state’s vital salmon population, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) recently joined Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to introduce a resolution recognizing 2019 as the International Year of the Salmon. The resolution aims to serve as a framework for collaboration across the Northern Hemisphere to restore and recover salmon stocks through research, cooperation, and public action. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Angus King (I-ME) also signed on to the resolution.

“Salmon is as important to Washington state’s history and culture as it is to our environment and economy, and our families, tribes, and recreationists understand the importance of our wild salmon populations to our way of life,” said Senator Murray. “This resolution is a signal to our international neighbors that the United States is serious about salmon recovery and preservation, and I’m proud to stand with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to recognize this important call to action.”

Senator Murray, a longtime defender of Washington state’s salmon habitats, previously led efforts to restore federal funding for salmon recovery after previous attempts from President Trump to eliminate vital federal support for salmon recovery, and successfully championed increased federal investments in the program in the last spending bill.

Background:

  • The International Year of the Salmon (IYS) was launched by the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) and other partners last fall to inform and stimulate salmon outreach and research.
  • The IYS aims to serve as a framework for international collaboration, supporting the resilience of salmon and coastal societies throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including research events in Japan, Russia, Norway, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and on both coasts of the US and Canada.
  • One of the associated projects is a Gulf of Alaska research cruise focused on studying Pacific salmon during their first ocean winter and determining rearing areas and abundances of specific stocks.
  • The IYS focal year is 2019, though activities began in 2018 and are planned to continue through to 2022.

Resolution Highlights:

  • Salmon are a vital resource, providing communities with cultural and social value, food security, and economic opportunity.
  • Salmon can be vulnerable to impacts from human interference, including development pressures and climate change.
  • Drawing on science, Indigenous knowledge, and the experience of fishers, policy makers, resource managers, and others is essential to conserve salmon.
  • People from all walks of life can learn about the value of salmon and support salmon conservation.
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