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COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Bering Cisco in Canada

Limiting Factors and Threats

The migratory behaviour of Bering cisco could make populations susceptible to potential adverse effects of industrial development. Passage along nearshore coastal habitat may be delayed by shoreline structures and offshore activities associated with the petroleum industry. In the Yukon River, hydroelectric development, mining and sewage discharges may be a threat in the future. Oil spills and radioactive waste may be a current threat in the Siberian far east. It is possible that mining and commercial fishing interests in the Yukon River could be of some threat to the Bering cisco. 

The extent of harvest throughout its range is currently unknown, with sporadic records maintained only in Alaska. Although it is recognized as distinct from other whitefishes, Aboriginal fishers in the Yukon group these fish with whitefish, and do not differentiate between species in the subsistence fishery. The fish and eggs are used for food, fresh or dried, and are often used to feed dogs. The species is not targeted and is captured incidentally, usually while fishing for salmon (Nagano, pers. comm. 2004).