In Alaska, salmon are one of the major providers of food for the people living there. Over the past few decades there has been a major increase in the usage of hatcheries to help the declining wild salmon population grow back to the numbers needed for them t o continue reproducing for the Alaskan people and its economy. To help make this process be a success, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game operated these salmon hatcheries to take in salmon that were preparing to spawn and put them in these hatcheries where their eggs are protected from other predators and the weather. These hatcheries are playing a big role in the comeback of the salmon, but they are imposing a problem on the wild population. The genes in the salmon that live in these hatcheries are no longer adapted to the environment of the wild salmon and are actually wiping out their population. Genes that are needed for the salmon to survive in their normal environment will no longer be passed down because the wild population is being wiped out. If the wild salmon become wiped out, then these hatcheries are more important than ever. If humans decide to quit this intervention once salmon population levels are steady, they are likely to go right back down because the genetic makeup has been altered and they will not be able to survive. By 1998, 75% of the salmon quota were hatchery salmon and in 1999, 84% of the pink salmon caught were also grown in these fish farms. This could slowly become a problem if the genes in these salmon are not watched carefully, but these fisheries have not found any harmful effects to people who indulge in this delicacy.
This is an example of human intervention that has not had too much of a negative effect, but actually has a positive effect. Alterations in genetics can be a good thing for food production if and only if they are monitored carefully.
*the vitamins that fish normally give are not as strong in the salmon grown in fish farms as they are in the wild salmon.