Last week, seven U.S. fisheries scientists filed a formal complaint after a supervisor threatened to eliminate their research branch for their “controversial” predictions for salmon populations.
The researchers’ model focused on threatened coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in the Klamath River Basin in Oregon. Research at the Klamath River Basin has been divided between those who want to tear down the local hydroelectric dams, saying the dams are responsible for salmon die-offs, and those who believe removing the dams wont actually provide the expected benefits.
The researchers from the Fisheries Resources Branch believe that supervisor Jason Phillips violated the scientific-integrity policy. In the letter, the scientists state that Phillips intended to shut down their branch after they produced data that contradicted the findings of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Phillips denys the accusations, saying: “It’s never been about the findings causing problems. Results are results.”
To learn more:
- Read the full article from Nature: Fish biologists claim political interference over salmon studies
- Read the letter: Complaint of Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct
- Find out about another issue in scientific integrity: US integrity effort hits troubled water
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