‘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.”

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