Russian invasion changes crucial PNW salmon project plans

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is having ripple effects across the world, including a multi-million dollar salmon research project that scientists hope will unlock key answers for the Pacific Northwest.

An international team including scientists from Russia, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea began work at the beginning of February. Teams are trying to figure out what determines whether a salmon that migrates across the North Pacific comes back alive.

The work is considered a first in terms of the size and scope of the survey which will track salmon in the open sea, and collect a variety of measurements and samples.

Due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, however, some plans have changed.

According to the National OCeanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), plans changed – U.S. citizens are no longer boarding the Russian vessel that is part of the project.

"Without a U.S. Chief Scientist on board the ship, the TINRO cannot conduct research within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone," Michael Milstein, a NOAA Fisheries spokesperson. "Research by the TINRO outside the U.S. EEZ will continue as planned."

Dozens of scientists are involved in the ongoing research, details on how this change would affect various research projects that are part of the overall trip were not immediately available.

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