Review Article

Fisheries Science

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 237-249

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Japanese chum salmon stock enhancement: current perspective and future challenges

  • Shuichi KitadaAffiliated withGraduate School of Marine Biosciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology Email author 


This study reviews the present status of the Japanese chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta stock enhancement program and considers the ecological sustainability of wild populations while providing fishery production, exemplified by the hatchery-based Kitami region set net fishery. The return rate and the number of returns have been historically high in the Sea of Okhotsk, but have decreased in other regions since 2005. Natural spawning of chum salmon occurred in at least 160 rivers in Hokkaido. The genetic diversity of Japanese chum salmon was similar to or higher than that of other Pacific Rim populations. Numbers of alleles were high at microsatellite loci, but the loss of rare haplotypes was observed in all populations. The estimated N e /N ratio for the Kitami region was >0.15 % including hatchery and wild fish under the present high fishing pressure. Four regional populations were inferred in Hokkaido, however, genetic differentiation was weak and some river-populations were nested. Substantial changes in run timing were observed, but it has recovered gradually owing to the recent practice of escapement. Our analyses highlight the importance of juvenile quality and the vital roles of escapements in enhanced and non-enhanced rivers. New research is needed to minimize the genetic risks associated with hatchery programs.


Integrated hatchery program Escapement Effective population size Genetic diversity Population structure