EUGENE, Ore. - An aquatic conservation group is applauding a U.S. government decision to list Oregon coastal coho salmon as a threatened species.
The National Marine Fisheries Service's move to extend federal protections to the coho salmon under the Endangered Species Act comes on the heels of a recent court ruling that found the agency's 2006 decision to deny a listing to coho was not based on the best available science, the Pacific Rivers Council said in a statement Monday.
"Protecting coho under the Endangered Species Act is consistent with available science and is in the best interests of these salmon and the many people who value and depend on them," said Chris Frissell, PRC director of science and conservation. "Decades of experience prove that federal listing brings new resources and promotes the social willpower needed to restore species that face exactly this kind of situation."
Federal environmental officials last month warned commercial fishermen to expect cuts in salmon fishing quotas because of dwindling salmon stocks.
The decline in salmon populations is a result of rising global temperatures and water being diverted to Southern California, among other things, the Pacific Fishery Management Council said in January.
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