Fishes of the Salish Sea
How many fish species use the Salish Sea? In which habitat types can you find certain species?
Knowing the answers to questions as basic as this are fundamental to restoring an ecosystem. Yet currently we don’t have a scientific list of the fish species of the Salish Sea. This also was true for the birds and mammals of the Salish Sea until SeaDoc recently published that list. But stay tuned, we will soon also have a list of fishes thanks to a very generous private donation.
Why is this so important? With this list, scientists will be able to document the occurrence of new species and the disappearance of existing ones. The list will be a key baseline for Salish Sea recovery. At the same time it will help scientists select particular species as indicators of ecosystem health, and it will provide a basis for identifying the mechanisms responsible for marine fish declines.
Not too bad for a humble list. Thanks to our forward-thinking donor for understanding the importance of this effort and making it possible.
Photo: Grunt Sculpin by J. Nichols