When settlers first came to the Oregon Coast, they were amazed at the abundance of salmon in the area. Commercial salmon fishing started in the 1860s and provided an influx of jobs in cities like Astoria, Tillamook and Gold Beach. By the 21sst century, it became an important part of every coastal town’s economy. Settlers and immigrants came to the area for the opportunities in both the fishing and canning industries. As the number of commercial fisherman increased, so did the competition between them. Innovations and technological advancements created higher yields with less work. Things like fishwheels and gillnets lead to unrestrained and unsustainable harvesting, rapidly decreasing salmon populations in the area.


Photo obtained from Oregon State University, Special Collections and Archives Research Center


Today, fisheries are managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. They set limits, regulations and run studies to sample fish and shellfish, as well as provide fisherman with as much information as they can. It is important for fisherman to follow limits and quotas set by these agencies because they are implemented to ensure fishing is sustainable and that there will be plenty of fish for everyone and the future of fishing. With proper fisheries management, the Oregon Coast will remain a premier fishing destination for generations to come.

A recent announcement from “Nature Briefing” regarding the global status of wildlife populations may help us recognize the tremendous asset we have in the wildlife and natural resources of Coastal Oregon, and especially the Southern Coast. Outdoor Recreation and Tourism are important aspects of how we interact and manage our coastal communities and our natural resources.

Within two years, we must commit to saving the web of life

Mammal, bird, fish and reptile populations have fallen on average by 60% since 1970, finds a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report involving 59 scientists from around the world. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done,” says Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at the WWF.

Runaway human consumption is to blame: the biggest cause of wildlife loss is the annihilation of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland to feed humans and livestock, followed by killing for food. The WWF is calling on world leaders to strike a global deal at the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020, similar to the Paris agreement on climate change, to limit and reverse the destruction. “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” says Barrett. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ — it is our life-support system.”

CNN | 10 min read
Read more: Nature digs deep into the last WWF Living Planet Report in 2016
Reference: WWF Living Planet Report & Nature Sustainability paper