International team departs on Pacific salmon research expedition

Image: Stuart McNish via CBC News
Professor Kaganovsky

A team of 21 scientists from five Pacific Rim countries have embarked on an expedition to the Gulf of Alaska to conduct a comprehensive study of Pacific salmon in the region.

Dubbed the International Gulf of Alaska Expedition 2019, the month-long research mission aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of fish stocks from five salmon-producing countries, namely, the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.

The team boarded the Russian research trawler Professor Kaganovsky and left the port of Vancouver, British Columbia, on Saturday, February 16.

As part of the study, the team will use the vessel to trawl for salmon, conduct DNA testing to determine where the fish had hatched, and attempt to estimate the abundance of various species through the use of gathered data.

A total of 72 research stations scattered throughout the Gulf of Alaska will be visited by Professor Kaganovsky and the embarked scientists before their return to Vancouver, which is scheduled for March 18.

Canadian fisheries scientist Richard Beamish, who organised the expedition, has stated that this is the first time in decades that an expedition was conducted to study salmon in the high seas.


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