Re: “Salmon have shrunk so much that Whole Foods redid its guidelines” [April 27, Environment]:

The report outlining the diminishing size of local salmon, which are at the heart of the Pacific Northwest region’s culinary identity, makes one point clear: Salmon urgently need a lifeline. The region’s salmon runs draw restaurant clientele from across the country and around the globe, and translate to valuable local jobs. For the commercial fishermen that supply our restaurants, salmon are vital to livelihoods that invigorate and sustain rural economies, both on rivers and coast.

As a chef, I play an integral role in the economy and the food web that stretches from the Pacific Coast to the east side of the Cascades. We need agricultural products and salmon to coexist in a sustainable fashion.

That’s why I cheered when U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, proposed a plan that pairs funds for salmon recovery with irrigation mitigation and grain transport improvements, boosting support for our critical agriculture sector, which ranks second in the nation.

We must move forward with salmon restoration together with support to our many vital food producers across the four-state region — fisherman, farmers, orchardists, winemakers and brewers — ensuring that their needs are met and that the whole Northwest comes out stronger.

Taichi Kitamura, chef/owner, Sushi Kappo Tamura, Seattle