Trading Salmon for Almonds

mike hudsonNorthern California fishermen have endured an extremely difficult year. Fishery managers closed the entire commercial salmon fishing season for half of June and all of July in much of Northern California, and in general, ocean fishing has been poor the past few years off the California coast. The drought is to blame, along with excessive water diversions from the streams where Chinook salmon spawn. So it’s frustrating for commercial fishermen like Mike Hudson of Berkeley to hear that another part of the state’s food industry—almonds—is expecting a record crop in 2016. Almond farmers draw water from the same river systems in which Chinook salmon lay and fertilize their eggs, and to Hudson—a longtime critic of unsustainable agriculture, including growing thirsty crops like almonds in the dry San Joaquin Valley—it appears as though the farmer’s gain is his loss. Read the story here 18:31

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