Oct 2 2014

Do more fish in SoCal predict El Nino weather?

A number of exotic bounty normally found in more tropical waters have been popping up across Southern California, exciting fishermen and researchers alike.”This year is probably the first time in 15 years that we’ve had really good tuna fishing close to the California coastline,” said Dr. Chris Lowe, a professor at Cal State Long Beach’s Shark Lab.Tuna aren’t the only marine life turning up. Video from Dana Point Whale Watch shows a hammerhead shark attacking yellowfin tuna off the coast. Those who went to Manhattan Beach this summer were also greeted by blue creatures known as velella.

A hammerhead swims through Dana Point waters in this undated file photo. (Dave Beeninga, DanaWharf.com)


But what’s bringing all the marine life to our ocean?

“The animals are following warm water and the prey that move with those conditions,” Lowe said.

Experts say ocean water temperatures last month alone hit 76 degrees, almost 10 degrees warmer than average.

“The last time we had conditions was in the late-80s when we had the strong El Nio periods,” Lowe said.

Lowe said it’s not yet clear if the increase in marine life signals a full El Nino.

“Normally, when we have El Nino conditions, we have really wet falls,” Lowe said. “We’re hoping that we get an El Nino that will bring us more water.”

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