Professor Francis Juanes of the Department of Natural Resources Conservation,University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. USA, was a keynote speaker at the First International Symposium on Formosa landlocked salmon and masu salmon which took place Oct. 23-26 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Of the seven species of Pacific salmon, only the masu salmon spawns exclusively in the western Pacific. Four subspecies of masou salmon are currently recognized: amago salmon, Biwa salmon, red-spotted masou salmon and Formosa landlocked salmon.

Formosa landlocked salmon only occurs in one location in Taiwan and is therefore considered to be the southernmost Pacific salmon. Its limited range (since the 1990s, it inhabits only the Chichian stream within the Shei-Pa national park), genetic discreteness, and its low and fluctuating population numbers suggests that it may be the most endangered salmon in the world.

The symposium brought together scientists focusing on all subspecies of masu salmon to update knowledge and apply it to the conservation of Formosan salmon. Participants included scientists from Taiwan, Japan and two scientists from the U.S.

Juanes’ presentation was titled “Atlantic salmon conservation: life history flexibility, genetic variability and climate change.” Atlantic salmon populations are also at historically low levels and a few populations are considered endangered. According to Juanes, there is much to be learned from the Japanese and Taiwanese work on Atlantic conservation and vice versa for masu salmon.

The formal part of the symposium was followed by a trip to the Shei-Pa national park where a roundtable was held with the park managers.

The proceedings of the symposium were published by the National Taiwan Normal University of Taipei and will appear in book form in 2010.

From: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA