One amazing journey
Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, then return to freshwater to reproduce (there is a sub species of Atlantic salmon that stays in freshwater lakes). The journey made by those salmon that survive this quest to reproduce is one of nature's greatest triumphs.
The salmon must swim hundreds even thousands of miles, to get back to the stream where they hatched. Whilst many simply do not have enough fat stores to make the trip, others must battle through fishermen's nets, over power dams, up waterfalls and rapids, and struggle past eagles, otters and bears to reach their destination.
Salmon spend between 1 and 7 years out in the ocean, depending on the species. Pacific salmon usually die within a few days or weeks of spawning. Atlantic salmon
can make the trip from freshwater to ocean and back a number of times.
Where are the salmon?
Pacific salmon are native to Canada, Russia, and the United States and have been introduced into Japan and Atlantic salmon are native to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The largest salmon sanctuary in the world is in Kamchatka, Russia.
Food for thought
Salmon is a popular food, and is classified as an oily fish, recommended for a healthy diet.
Fishing and the processing of salmon play a major role in many economies. Whilst overfishing and badly managed fisheries have contributed to the decline of many species of fish, including some salmon populations, the Alaska salmon fishery, which is responsible for around 90% of wild caught salmon in North America, has been MSC certified since 2000.