Government-funded hatcheries have attempted to produce more salmon for everyone; as wild stocks declined, hatchery fish were intended to bridge the gap. Billions of hatchery-raised salmon have been released into the rivers of Washington State, California, and Oregon.

Despite this, the catch of Pacific salmon has not increased in these waters. In fact, the introduction of hatchery-raised fish has also had a detrimental effect on wild salmon. In addition, the fish released from hatcheries are smaller and less fatty, making them less nutritious for the whales, but they’re an ideal size for seals and sea lions, which is now even leading to calls for a cull to control population sizes of these predators.