“Would you eat fish out of this river?”
That’s the opening line of Broken Fish: Collapse of the Coho, a new film from Colby K. Neal and Shihyun Kung. The river in question is the Duwamish, where a small population of coho salmon return every year to Longfellow Creek, in West Seattle. For several years, Soundkeeper has helped survey the returning salmon runs, to try and understand why salmon in this urban creek are dying before they can spawn.
Broken Fish examines the threats to Puget Sound’s native populations of coho, and talks to the people trying to keep the salmon runs alive. Across the Pacific Northwest, runs of native salmon and steelhead have dropped to only 5 percent or less of their historic numbers. And coho are especially sensitive to pollution from toxic stormwater runoff, the cocktail of pollutants that washes off pavement, rooftops and vehicles when it rains.
The film beautifully explores the relationship between salmon and people in the Salish Sea. More than just food, salmon are a cultural touchstone and an indicator of the health of our region. To protect them, we have to stop pollution and habitat destruction, mitigate the effects of climate change, and continue to champion the importance of clean, healthy waterways for everyone.
You can watch the full film above, and learn more at http://www.brokenfishfilm.com.