Native Fishing Practices and Oxygen Depletion in Hood Canal

Authors: Cole, Robert S.

Disciplines: Biology, Environmental Studies, Political Science and Public Administration

Themes: Activism, Environmental Justice, Environmental Restoration, Racism and Prejudice, Salmon

Tribes: Skokomish

This case examines the contribution of dumping chum salmon carcasses into Hood Canal to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the Canal. A report by the Puget Sound Action Team and the Hood Canal Coordinating Council studied the contribution of different factors to low dissolved oxygen levels in Hood Canal. This report presented the Skokomish Tribal Nation with a potential public relations issue regarding their traditional practices of dumping the chum salmon carcasses into the Canal. Students are challenged to discuss recommendations about what actions the Skokomish Nation should take based upon the findings of the report, upon issues of economic impact on tribal fishers, and upon issues of equity in addressing environmental problems.