‘Crash of the Pacific sardines’: 98.5% collapse since 2006. NMFS may cancel Monterey Bay 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The numbers are startling.

2017  86,586 metric tons
2018  52,065 metric tons
2019  27,547 metric tons, “a 98.5 percent collapse since 2006.”

“The collapse is a result of overfishing, [Geoff] Shester said. Sardine populations go through natural cyclical fluctuations, but to see numbers this low is caused from over-fishing.

That isn’t credible.

Fukushima hit in 2011 when the sardines were in a severe down-swing (see chart below). Radioactivity contaminated the kelp and the ocean initially. The Monterey Bay kelp had measureable levels. The contamination increases by air and ocean releases to this day, and none of it is “biodegradeable”.

Historic over-fishing is only one factor. Fukushima radioactive contamination is never mentioned by the media or the scientists.

The ocean environment is crashing. The sardines are canaries. They’ve had no chance at recovery. And the brown pelicans and sea lions are just two species that are dying of starvation as a result.

sardines and kelp
Photo, courtesy of NOAA

From the  Monterey Herald


Sardine fishery likely will be closed this season

Dennis Taylor

3-28-19

MONTEREY — Sardine fishermen in Monterey Bay are facing a fifth straight year of restrictions on the amount they will be permitted to catch, creating financial hardships for the commercial industry.

A new draft assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service indicates a sardine population of 27,547 metric tons. According to the Fisheries Service, any tonnage below 50,000 metric tons is considered “overfished.” That’s a 98.5 percent collapse since 2006.

The restriction, which would essentially cancel the 2019-2020 commercial sardine season, must be applied when populations drop under 150,000 metric tons, said Geoff Shester, senior scientist with the Monterey office of Oceana, a marine environmental watchdog group.

The crash of Pacific sardines has been difficult to watch,” Shester said. “We’ve witnessed dramatic starvation effects to ocean animals.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

Monterey Bay: “anchovies…some of the last along California’s coast”, plankton levels low, whales searching for food, squid disappearing, starving marine life — ecosystem in collapse

Posted on ENE News:

Monterey Herald, Nov 3, 2015 (emphasis added): Local whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… Fishing groups disagree, though they note the bay has seen some dramatic environmental changes.

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oct 30, 2015: Monterey Bay anchovy numbers in decline, groups say… “Since late September, the whale numbers have decreased, their behavior has changed and their food, anchovies, are less abundant,” said Nancy Black, marine biologist… Whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… The fishing industry says that’s not the case though ocean conditions have been unusual. Some scientists, however, are finding a drastic decline in the forage fish… [Pacific Fishery Management Council staff officer Mike Burner said,] “The council’s definitely concerned with some of the things they’ve heard.”… “The population has truly collapsed,” [said] William Sydeman, president and senior scientist at the Farallon Institute. “There’s no way fishing could have that kind of impact, so it had to be environmental.”… plankton populations are low, affecting their predators up the marine food chain… “When anchovy numbers are low, they crowd at the coast and appear to be abundant,” Sydeman said… At the same time, the lack of anchovies offshore are maybe in part why scores of sea lions and sea birdsare starving up and down the coast. “Right now we’re seeing that the whales are more scattered and seem to be looking harder for food,” said Dorris Welch, marine biologist…

Monterey Herald, Oct 19, 2015: Plenty of anchovies in Monterey Bay, but maybe not elsewhereMarket squid are disappearing, and in their place, fishing boats are reeling in piles of anchovies. But while they appear abundant, conservation groups warn that the forage fish may be at their lowest levels since the 1950s. “It’s an anomalous year,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association. [Oceana’s Geoff Shester said,] “new information shows that the stock is at such a low level right now, it’s literally in a state of collapse.” Survey cruises conducted by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center detected little to no anchovy eggs from 2010 to 2013… Sit on the docks where anchovies are sorted and you’ll likely see lots of the silvery fish piling up. But it’s a mirage, warns William Sydeman, ecologist of the Farallon Institute, who coauthored the paper that estimated anchovies at low levels. “People think that if they’re in Monterey Bay, they must be everywhere,” Sydeman said. “They’re not. They’re only in Monterey Bay.” Sydeman said anchovies tend to aggregate near shore when their numbers are low…

KION, Oct 21, 2015: California’s last anchovies crowd in the Monterey Bay; Researchers say a massive decline of the fish is throwing off the ecosystem — Several conservation groups and whale watching operators are very concerned about the anchovies in the Monterey Bay… Recently, fishermen have been hauling out 120 tons of anchovies every night, but those anchovies are some of the last along California’s coast… “The anchovy abundance out here, and off the entire state, has gotten to some of the lowest we’ve seen since the 1950s,” [Oceana’s Geoff Shester] said. “Scientists are calling it an actual collapse.”… Anchovies are an important part of the ecosystem. That’s why these groups say if nothing is done, there could be long-term impacts. “We’re really worried that right now we are seeing major die-offs of sea lion pups and pelicans because they’re starving and not able to reproduce,” Shester said. “And that’s because there’s not enough sardines and anchovies out there.” “We’ve noticed the numbers of whales have dropped significantly,” [marine biologist Nancy Black] said.

Watch KION’s broadcast here

http://enenews.com/tv-massive-decline-fish-throwing-ecosystem-along-california-coast-expert-population-collapsed-theyre-gone-virtually-everywhere-whale-numbers-dropped-significantly-squid-disappearing-video