Sustainable seafood is one thing we Oregonians count on. It is also a “Northwest Favorite” for all of the convention banquets held in our area. But the Monterey Bay Aquarium just listed the salmon as “to be avoided” because it is too depeted to eat. This change will greatly impact local restaurants and caterers.
The news is even more disheartening because the salmon has been an integral part of the Pacific Northwest Native American culture. Totems, stories and legends all embrace the salmon and have been passed down through the generations. Even though my family didn’t settle in Oregon until the 1800’s, the salmon has always been important to us as well. When I was little, my grandfather told me, “the salmon run up the rivers when the dogwoods bloom.” And each year when the blossoms opened on our tree, we would go down to the river to watch them. Just like clockwork, there they were making their way home to spawn. To think that I may not be able to share this with my grandchildren breaks my heart.