5-speed listening (Salmon - Level 3)

Rescuers help airlift thousands of salmon to safety



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A team of rescuers is working hard to help airlift thousands of salmon in Canada to safety. The salmon are trapped in a section of the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. They have been trapped in that part of the river since a landslide in June. The landslide blocked off the section of the river, which meant the salmon could not swim upstream to spawn (lay their eggs). Rescuers and conservationists have spent several weeks looking at ways to help the fish. They decided the best way was to fly the fish to the other side of the fallen rocks by helicopter. The fish will then be free to swim up to their breeding ground. Rescuers have been "working around the clock" to help the salmon.

Conservationists warn that if the fish cannot lay their eggs, the entire local salmon population will be at risk. Future numbers of the fish will drop to dangerously low levels. This would have an impact on many of Canada's First Nations indigenous people. They need the salmon for food and for cultural reasons. Salmon play an important role in many traditional ceremonies of people who have lived along the Fraser River for hundreds of years. Their way of life will continue thanks to the rescuers' help. The rescuers are also looking at other ways to help the fish. One said: "We expect over three million [salmon] to migrate north of that rockslide. With that number of fish, you have to find alternate methods."

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