Thank you for the update about lawsuits against dam owners who are accused of mangling Atlantic salmon on their way from the upstream spawning areas into the ocean (Morning Sentinel, July 19).

I am concerned about survival of Atlantic salmon in Maine rivers, but I’m very disturbed by the limited scope of what is being done about it. I would like Sentinel writers to look more deeply into the situation and identify the real reasons why Maine rivers don’t have very many ocean salmon.

The real problem is that something is happening to salmon in the ocean, probably overfishing by factory ships that catch everything in their nets and don’t put the Atlantic salmon back into the ocean.

A couple of years ago, I asked a panel of salmon experts from the University of Maine what is happening in the ocean that prevents hardly any of the salmon from coming back up our rivers to spawn. They said that they were aware of this problem but didn’t know what is causing it. They had looked into the situation to some degree, but obviously not enough.

I suppose that this problem has to do with reaching agreements between the United States government and other governments representing the owners of those factory fishing ships that may be operating just far enough offshore so that they are not regulated by our federal or state governments.

I have not seen a government report that analyzes this situation. Perhaps a newspaper reporter would be able to report on this. I would really like to see the results. We have spent a lot of resources putting fishways in dams, but we will not save our salmon if we continue to ignore the real problem.

Elery Keene


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