Sustaining North American Salmon: Perspectives Across Regions and Disciplines

Chapter 15: Salmon, Society, and Politics: Moving Toward Ecosystem-Based Management for Pacific Salmon

Donald D. MacDonald, Megan Hanacek, and Laura Genn


Salmon Oncorhynchus spp. and steelhead O. mykiss serve as powerful symbols of the quality of life that we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest and generate a wide range of economic, social, and cultural benefits in the region. Commercial fisheries contribute significantly to local, provincial/state, and national economies, both directly through the sale of fish and indirectly through the service and manufacturing industries. Likewise, sport fisheries provide diverse economic benefits through the tourist, manufacturing, and service sectors. First Nations (Canada) and tribal (U.S.) fisheries revitalize local economies, facilitate social stabilization and renewal, and help to maintain the rich cultural heritage that characterizes the Pacific Northwest. Because of the nature and extent of the benefits they bestow, ensuring the conservation and sustainability of Pacific salmonid resources should be both a national and an international priority.