Symposium Summary: How Different Are Asian Masu Salmon Compared to Coho Salmon and Steelhead?
[email protected] Read the symposium abstracts here.Masu or cherry salmon Oncorhynchus masou (and subspecies) are Asian endemic salmon native to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and the Russian Federation. The goal of our symposium was to summarize emerging knowledge on Masu Salmon, and draw comparisons to North American analogs, particularly Coho Salmon (O. kisutch). A number of speakers emphasized the diversity of life histories of Masu Salmon and highlighted a number of threats, particularly dams that have led to fragmented habitat in Japan and Taiwan. Although the species is not a conservation concern, there are a number of populations that are highly threatened. Possibly the most endangered is the Formosan land-locked salmon population in Taiwan, with only ca. 300 individuals surviving in the wild. Because of a lack of estuarine studies, it is not clear whether Masu Salmon exhibit the same degree of life history diversity documented in Coho Salmon in coastal North America. There is a lack of long-term marine survival studies of Masu that would compare with monitoring programs in North America. There was strong support among the attendees to complete an IUCN status assessment of Masu Salmon as an important step in raising awareness and advancing research and conservation efforts. —Pete Rand,