Jul 8 2014

Peru downplays El Nino chances, as waters begin to cool

Seafood News


According to Peru authorities, cooling sea temperatures are bringing back schools of anchovy.


Temperatures in the Eastern Tropical Pacific off Peru peaked in June, at 5.4 degrees F above average levels, but have since declined, and Peru authorities predict a return to normal temperatures by August, according to the State Committee monitoring El Nino.


“The possibility of us seeing an extraordinary Nino is ruled out,” said German Vasquez, the head of the committee.


Cold-water anchovy that swam south to escape warmer sea temperatures that arrived in April are making their way back now, Vasquez said.


“Anchovy are coming north,” Vasquez said. “There are already fish in the center of the country, but they’re still very close to the coast and not yet at their usual depth.”


Vasquez said sea temperatures off Peru’s coast could rise again slightly at the end of the year.


Such forecasts are also echoed by NOAA, that says there is a 70% chance of an El Nino beginning this summer, and an 80% chance of one beginning next winter.  However, the current El Nino index stands at .2, when a level of .5 generally indicates an El Nino is occuring.  In March and April these levels were reached, but since then temperatures have cooled.


NOAA says that a trough bringing lower than normal temperatures is partly responsible.

Photo Credit: Instituto del Mar del Peru


John Sackton, Editor And Publisher
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