A senior scientist at Nanaimo's Pacific Biological Station, Margolis has studied salmon for 35 years. In 1955 Margolis discovered that salmon ventured beyond the Continental Shelf and later helped develop a means of identifying salmon's home rivers. With Department of Fisheries ethologist Cornelis Groot he brought together most of the available information about the seven species of Pacific salmon in Pacific Salmon: Life Histories.
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Pacific Salmon: Life Histories (UBC $49.95)
--Salmon eyes 'see' the position of the sun even when it is hidden by clouds
--Salmon brains appear to contain microscopic 'compass needles' which line up
with the earth's magnetic field.
--Salmon noses are sensitive enough to detect a single molecule of a substance.
--Salmon noses are so sensitive that even in the middle of the ocean amid thousands of fish a salmon can sniff out families spawned in the same home creek, plus identify individual members of each family by their odours.
THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE NATURAL navigation aids which help salmon migrate over thousands of kilometers of ocean and find their way back to the exact creek bed where they were spawned several years earlier. They exemplify the discoveries made by a team of Canadian scientists based in Nanaimo at the Pacific Biological station. Two of those scientists, Cornelis Groot and Leo Margolis, have brought together most of the available information about the seven species of Pacific salmon in their book Pacific Salmon: Life Histories (UBC $49.95). Groot says each new discovery about salmon raises new questions. "When they smell odours of their home stream, what is giving off the odour?" he asks. "Are they homing in on plants and minerals? Egg capsules from their own kind? It seems they are sensitive to a symphony of odours." Co-editor Margolis has studied salmon for 35 years. In 1955 he was stationed aboard a research vessel in mid Pacific when he discovered salmon, lots of them. Until then scientists believed the fish almost never ventured beyond the continental shelf. Margolis' pioneering study proved salmon ranged right across the north Pacific. "We were totally surprised," he says, recalling the numbers of salmon caught during their research. "You could hardly imagine the excitement when we discovered these salmon." Margolis helped develop a means of identifying the salmon's home rivers. Salmon may carry parasites unique to the creek where they originated. Margolis' team travelled to dozens of spawning channels and catalogued the parasites on salmon stocks in each creek. When scientists caught a salmon in the ocean and identified its parasite, they could say for certain which creek it came from. "It's like a lifelong tag that nature puts on salmon," he says. "No matter where we live, or how distant we may be from the salmon's oceans and streams, each of us has some knowledge that the miracle happens and marvel in the mystery and majesty of it." That's no ordinary beginning to a seafood cookbook, but then The Cannery Cookbook: Salmon Stories & Seafood Recipes (Dobson Communications Inc. $12.95) is no ordinary cookbook. Produced by Bud Kanke, owner of Vancouver's Cannery Seafood Restaurant, the book reveals recipes that have made that waterfront eatery famous. The book also tells the history of B.C.'s salmon fishery, laced with anecdotes about colourful characters from the trade, such as Mars Tarnowsky, skipper of the seiner New Venture who claims he can "swear for five minutes and not repeat himself." Meanwhile, in Salmon: The Decline of the B.C. Fishery (D&M $28.95). award-winning Vancouver journalist Geoff Meggs has blamed overfishing and the destruction of salmon habitats for the sharp decline in B.C.'s salmon stocks. With the loss of salmon stocks went the canneries. At one time, the north coast of B.C. was dotted with canneries and adjoining villages, but they are now deserted. Gladys Young Blyth- named Senior Citizen of the Year in B.C. in 1989 for her key role in founding the North Pacific Cannery national historic site has completed a history of these abandoned settlements in Salmon Canneries (Oolichan $19.95). Michael Turner has created a fictional cannery town of Raspaco as the setting for his book of poems about the towns salmon cannery. Company Town (Pulp $10.95) looks at the cannery's final year through the eyes of its white, Oriental and Native workers. And for the second year in a row Bill Blair has provided an offbeat tribute to salmon with the Salmon Year Itch (Pulp $9.95), a 1991 calendar of salmon puns and collages.
[BCBW 1991] "Environment";