Archive for May, 2015

May 16 2015

‘Substantial’ El Nino event predicted


The El Nino effect, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, say scientists.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicted that it could become a “substantial” event later in the year.

The phenomenon arises from variations in ocean temperatures.

The El Nino is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world, according to forecasters.

US scientists announced in April that El Nino had arrived, but it was described then as “weak”.

Australian scientists said models suggested it could strengthen from September onwards, but it was too early to determine with confidence how strong it could be.

“This is a proper El Nino effect, it’s not a weak one,” David Jones, manager of climate monitoring and prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology, told reporters.

“You know, there’s always a little bit of doubt when it comes to intensity forecasts, but across the models as a whole we’d suggest that this will be quite a substantial El Nino event.”

resultAftermath of flooding in California put down to El Nino

An El Nino comes along about every two to seven years as part of a natural cycle.

Every El Nino is different, and once one has started, models can predict how it might develop over the next six to nine months, with a reasonable level of accuracy.

How can we predict El Nino?

In the tropical Pacific Ocean, scientists operate a network of buoys that measure temperature, currents and winds. The data – and other information from satellites and meteorological observations – is fed into complex computer models designed to predict an El Nino. However, the models cannot predict the precise intensity or duration of an El Nino, or the areas likely to be affected, more than a few months ahead. Researchers are trying to improve their models and observational work to give more advance notice.

A strong El Nino five years ago was linked with poor monsoons in Southeast Asia, droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador, blizzards in the US, heatwaves in Brazil and extreme flooding in Mexico.

Another strong El Nino event was expected during last year’s record-breaking temperatures, but failed to materialise.

Prof Eric Guilyardi of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading said it would become clear in the summer whether this year might be different.

“The likelihood of El Nino is high but its eventual strength in the winter when it has its major impacts worldwide is still unknown,” he said.

“We will know in the summer how strong it is going to be.”

Weather patterns

The El Nino is a warming of the Pacific Ocean as part of a complex cycle linking atmosphere and ocean.

The phenomenon is known to disrupt weather patterns around the world, and can bring wetter winters to the southwest US and droughts to northern Australia.

The consequences of El Nino are much less clear for Europe and the UK.

Research suggests that extreme El Nino events will become more likely as global temperatures rise.

Originally posted at:

May 16 2015

La Jolla leaders discuss sea lion issue with NOAA

Lifeguards at La Jolla Cove trained in use of ‘crowding boards’ to deter pinnipeds

Sea_Lions_resting_2-19-15_t837The growing number of sea lions along the cliffs at La Jolla Cove is causing problems for businesses and beach-goers.

Last week lifeguards monitoring La Jolla Cove were given what could be the first of several tools in an arsenal to help manage the growing sea lion population at La Jolla Cove — training in the use of plywood “crowding boards.”

The boards are used by SeaWorld personnel and others working in close proximity to marine mammals to help safely nudge the animals along and to get around them without being bitten. A regional stranding coordinator with NOAA Fisheries (Justin Viezbicke) provided the training, confirmed Chris Yates, assistant regional administrator of NOAA’s Protected Resources Division, West Coast Region.

“It’s just largely a big plywood shield that keeps something between you and the animal,” Yates told La Jolla Light. “The lifeguards have to interact with sea lions on a fairly regular basis. … Crowding boards are a common practice for all sorts of different wildlife resource managers, but particularly with pinnipeds, to be able to protect themselves when they need to move animals from a place where they would be endangering themselves or people.”

Crowding boards are just one method local governments such as the City of San Diego can use under section 109(h) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to legally deter sea lions or other marine mammals from remaining in an area, including the use of water jets, sprinklers, air horns or other noise-making deterrents, strobe lights, starter pistols, electric livestock fencing, slingshots, cattle prods and rubber bullets.

“If the city so chooses to exercise its authority under 109(h) of the MMPA, any city employee or contractor specified for that purpose can use crowding boards to move animals from places where they are either in danger themselves or where they have a public health or welfare implication,” Yates said.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky referred questions about the training to a city spokesperson, who did not return e-mail and phone messages about the training by press time. A spokesperson for District 1 City Council president Sherri Lightner also did not return a message asking if Lightner would advocate for the use of sea lion deterrence allowed under the MMPA provision.

The training came to light following a May 5 meeting Yates granted La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) president Steve Haskins and La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) committee chair Dan Allen. Haskins and Allen requested the meeting, held at NOAA’s Southwest Region office in Long Beach, as a follow-up to LJTC’s April sea lion forum ( and LJP&B’s directive that the city take action to address issues related to the sea lions’ growing presence (, such as public safety and the pervasive odor from their urine and excrement.

New_sea_lion_shenanigans_1_t837Tourists at La Jolla Cove snap photos of sea lions that have become bolder and more plentiful on the beach popular with swimmers.

“It’s pretty interesting what we found out,” Haskins said. “Some of the things I heard were not things I’ve heard before. … It seems like there’s something going on, on our end, where the people with the city aren’t tuning in to what’s being said. … Apparently this is a very bad situation that’s happening all over California, Oregon and Washington. The amount of sea lions has exploded and once they take over a place, they basically don’t give it up, so you need to move quickly if you want to change their behavior. You can’t take years to decide what to do.”

Yates said several times he has reminded San Diego city officials of the measures available under the MMPA to legally harass sea lions without filing for permits or receiving NOAA or other authorization. “They’ve asked us at various times questions about 109(h) as it relates to … things going on during the years,” Yates said. “We’ve told them, yes, they have that authority under 190(h). … They don’t have to do anything with us. There’s no permitting. We don’t approve it, we don’t bless it, we don’t do anything. That’s their legal authority under the law.”

Asked if any of the federally approved deterrent methods seem to work better than others, Yates replied, “That’s the million-dollar question.

“In general, sea lions are very persistent,” he said. “They become habituated to these deterrent methods very quickly, and people up and down the California Coast are very frustrated because it’s not easy to keep them away from things that people want to keep them away from. In places where there are docks and marinas, the most effective methods have been physical structures that form barriers, but they’re strong, big animals that can jump and crush things, so when you’re building a barrier … or a fence, it’s a substantial thing.”

Yates said most noise deterrents have not proven effective, as sea lions grow easily accustomed to them.

“Some places use water effectively, but you have to consistently reinforce the animals,” he said. “If you don’t have a physical barrier that keeps them away from something you have to be very diligent in keeping them away from that spot, either physically crowding them off or using something like water or another technique that’s not going to hurt them — that’s part of the deal.”

There is no magic formula to outfox the clever, dog-like creatures, Yates noted.

“If you let them come back, they’ll be back in full force and you’ve got to start from square one, so it is a constant maintenance type of thing, which obviously puts a lot of resource strains on the city or government entities trying to do that.”

Yates said the MMPA allows the city to effectively deputize a group such as the LJTC or LJP&B to manage deterrence methods. At Moss Landing in Monterey County — where it’s estimated sea lions cause about $100,000 in damage each year — people have been tasked with fulfilling community service requirements by chasing sea lions off the dock (in lieu of picking up roadside trash).

“We’ve seen people hire contractors, we’ve seen people designate people as city representatives under that authority, even though they’re not official city employees or officials,” Yates said. “There’s a lot of room for creativity there, as long as those people are acting within the scope of what the law allows and the city is responsible for them. …

“I don’t know that that has ever been challenged in court … (but) I would think if a city documents for itself the need to exercise its authority under 109(h) and specifies the individuals who would be doing that activity, that that would likely work,” Yates added. “Each city or government entity has to kind of review that with their own eyes and their own legal (team) and their own comfort level as to how they exercise those rights.”

While the roughly 70 to 100 sea lions at La Jolla Cove are not among the tens of thousands NOAA studies off the California coast, a city-commissioned study of La Jolla’s sea lion colony by marine mammal expert Doyle Hanan is ongoing. Results of the study should be released in the coming month and could help the city assess how to move forward with possible sea lion deterrent or behavior modification techniques.

Unlike the harbor seals at Children’s Pool beach, NOAA said California sea lions almost exclusively breed and give birth in the Channel Islands, about 180 miles off the coast. Haskins said he and Allen would contact Lightner and the mayor’s office to share what they learned from NOAA and underscore the need to take immediate action. “The more we understand about the behavior and abilities of sea lions, the more it seems like it’s almost impossible to stop them,” Haskins said.

Sea Lion Update

Sea lions breed and pups are weaned (so far) only on the Channel Islands. The breeding animals leave the mainland in May and return in August and September.

* There are estimated to be 330,000 sea lions off the U.S. coast, with a 3-5 percent continuous growth rate since the 1970s. There is no theory to explain why many come at one time to mainland bluffs and beaches, such as La Jolla Cove.

* Recent pup strandings are above normal and a phenomenon of perturbations in the food supply and not related to the perceived increase in animals at La Jolla Cove.

* Elephant Seals and Guadalupe Fur Seals have been spotted on mainland beaches, and their population growth and habitat dynamics are like sea lions.

* Sea lions explore new areas and haul out where they can be comfortable. Younger males learn dominant behavior from the older bulls.

* The Maine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits harassment of sea lions in any way by members of the public. However, harassment by city, county, state or federal personnel or their contractors is allowed under MMPA section 109(h).

* Sea lions are quick learners and stubborn. The way to deter them from settling in any particular place is to make them uncomfortable. The recommended ways — all to be done together — are: physically approach and shove with a plywood shield, aka “crowding board”; make a loud noise, such as with an air horn; squirt high-pressure water on the animal’s nose, chest and or rear end.

* Any effort must be a well-planned campaign, consistently done and started early in the day. The plan needs to address what to do next if moving the sea lions is successful, since the sea lions will relocate.

* The problem will be worse if the animals feel comfortable spending the night in the location where they are a nuisance.

* Predator sound reproduction has failed where tried.

* Because sea lions can climb and/or jump as much as six feet, any fence to restrain them must be carefully engineered with spinning rungs. There is a potential problem with fencing trapping animals from returning to the sea.

* Poop cleaning needs enzyme treatment. Water alone will not work.

* Dogs and sea lions share vulnerability to the same kinds of diseases, so they must be kept away from each other.

* Numerous locations along the California and Oregon coasts have conflicts with sea lions involving boat docks. Few have conflicts involving beaches and shoreline areas like La Jolla Cove does.

* Presently there are no adopted guidelines interpreting MMPA section 109(h) for sea lion deterrence or removal.

— Compiled from NOAA officials by 
La Jolla Parks & Beaches chair, Dan Allen

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May 14 2015

Demystifying Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management


Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) became a major initiative of resource managers around the world beginning in the 1990s.  Unlike traditional management approaches that focused solely on the biology of a particular stock, EBFM provides a more holistic approach to fisheries management – one that takes into account the complex suite of biological, physical, economic, and social factors associated with managing living marine resources.

EBFM has continued to evolve over the past 20 years and is now a cornerstone of NOAA Fisheries’ efforts to sustainably manage the nation’s marine resources.  But despite substantial progress in the science behind and application of EBFM, a perception remains that the science and governance structures to implement EBFM are lacking, when in fact they have already been resolved in the United States and other developed countries.  An April 2015 article in Fisheries took on the important challenge of identifying some of the most common myths that can impede the implementation of EBFM.  Here’s a look at some of them.


Myth 1: Marine ecosystem-based management lacks universal terminology, making it difficult to implement.

The scientific literature provides clear and consistent definitions of marine ecosystem-based management and associated terminology.  There are three primary levels of ecosystem-based management in relation to marine fisheries that differ by focus area. Full definitions can be found in the paper. From most comprehensive to least comprehensive, the three levels differ by their key focus:
  1. Ecosystem approaches to fisheries management (EAFM) focus on a single fisheries stock and include other factors that can influence a stock.
  2. Ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM)  focuses on the fisheries sector (multiple fisheries).
  3. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) focuses on multiple sectors, such as fisheries, ecotourism, and oil and gas exploration.



Myth 2: There’s no clear mandate for EBFM.

For the past 20 years, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, combined with more than 90 separate federal legislative mandates, either implicitly or explicitly have given NOAA authority to implement an ecosystem-based approach to management.  NOAA Fisheries specifically has been fully engaged during this period to implement EBFM, in order to more efficiently and effectively fulfill its key mandate – stewardship of the nation’s living marine resources and their habitats, interactions, and ecosystems. Rather than waiting for the perfect mandate to move forward with EBFM, managers, scientists, and policymakers can and should move forward within current authorities.



Myth 3: EBFM requires extensive data and complicated models.

A common misconception is that EBFM requires comprehensive data and complex models, and can only be applied in exceptional, data-rich circumstances.  The reality is that EBFM begins with what is known about the ecosystem.  It provides a framework to use all available knowledge, whether it’s a detailed time series of species abundance or more descriptive local knowledge of the ecosystem.  When data are limited, approaches such as risk, portfolio, or loop analysis can be applied to work with available information.  These techniques provide managers with a tool to assess whether a fish population or the ecosystem is likely to reach a tipping point.The key point here is that EBFM allows managers to work with the information available to best manage the resources in an ecosystem, aware of all the parts of the system simultaneously.



Myth 4: EBFM results will always be conservative and restrictive.

There is an existing perception that applying EBFM will always result in a more precautionary approach to management and reduced catch limits.  The rationale is that accounting for more uncertainty as well as focusing on conserving protected or non-target species will lead to more restrictive management measures that further reduce catches below maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels.  A better question might be, why would stakeholders ignore the best available science and jeopardize the resiliency of the stocks and ecosystem? Fisheries scientists over the past half century have criticized the concept of maximum sustainable yield for single species because of the impossibility of achieving MSY for all species simultaneously.Furthermore, some studies show that when management applies EBFM and focuses on the combined landings and value of all targeted species in an ecosystem, the landings are comparable to the amounts under single-species management.  Plus, there may be long-term economic benefits for multiple fisheries when the system is managed as a whole.



Myth 5: EBFM is a naïve attempt to describe a complex system.

Proponents see EBFM as a solution, whereas critics see it as an approach that falls short of addressing the many socioeconomic, political, and other challenges inherent in marine resource management.  Scientific agencies worldwide have traditionally given fishery management advice on a stock-by-stock basis rather than consider multiple fisheries and multiple user groups. But ignoring the trade-offs, or the existence of multiple objectives, does not make them go away.  Different stakeholders often have competing interests, and it is important to acknowledge these differences and identify management options that optimize the full range of interests.  Strategies can often meet multiple objectives, such that no one stock, fishery, sector, economy, or community is unknowingly depleted at the expense of another. Ultimately, EBFM is about trade-off analysis – examining which options meet the most objectives as a collective system.



Myth 6: There aren’t enough resources to do EBFM.

A final myth is that it will take substantially more resources – more funding, staff, data, and sophisticated models – to implement EBFM.  But EBFM implementation actually has the potential to increase efficiencies.  Many national and international working groups currently exist to support single-species management efforts.  A transition to EBFM allows multiple species to be addressed through a more integrated assessment process, thus requiring fewer working groups.  This has the potential to reduce staff workloads and consolidate modeling efforts.  In addition, applying EBFM has been shown to improve the stability of marine ecosystems, which translates into improved regulatory and economic stability and better business planning.


Dispelling the myths and taking action

These myths have discouraged some managers from even trying EBFM and have prevented them from getting the best available information needed for resource management.  Instead of viewing EBFM as a complex management process that requires an overabundance of information, it should be viewed as a framework to help managers work with the information they have and address competing objectives.   To learn more about EBFM and how NOAA is implementing it, click here.

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May 14 2015

West Coast sardine fishery being shut down

Sardine commercial fishery shutdown: Story and video —

Includes interviews with CWPA Board members Anthony Russo and David Crabbe.


May 9 2015

Embracing Squid in Its Many Forms

13KITCHEN1-master675Evan Sung for The New York Times

It’s funny that people who are normally squeamish about eating oddball food have no problem with squid.

Maybe it’s because most people encounter squid as fried calamari, which are often deep-fried rings with no discernible ocean flavor. This generic crisp and salty bar snack served with marinara sauce has mass appeal for young and old, even small children. But if they were told that calamari are actually bizarre-looking cephalopods with tentacles, and not somehow related to chicken nuggets, most kids wouldn’t touch them.

A platter of fried calamari does make a good introduction to squid, though, and can be quite wonderful when it’s well prepared. A good Italian restaurant is the best place to have them, maybe as part of a fritto misto. Many Thai restaurants offer excellent renditions sparked with hot pepper, mint and basil. In Spain, at streetside stands, you can buy a paper cone filled with freshly fried tiny squid called chipirones. They’ll make you swoon.

There are countless other ways to enjoy squid. Try them whole, seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast them uncovered in a hot oven for 10 minutes or so, or throw them on the grill. With a dab of aioli or salsa verde — divine.

13KITCHEN3-articleLargeEvan Sung for The New York Times

Braised long-cooked squid is also delectable. Simmering in tomato sauce until tender, or in a hearty red wine sauce, a common method used in many parts of Europe, is a way of treating squid a bit more like meat than fish. And squid stewed “in its own ink” shows up in arroz negro, a kind of black paella, or in pasta nero, garlicky spaghetti in a rich black sauce.

Sicilian cooks often make calamari ripieni, filling the whole squid’s cavity with a savory bread-crumb stuffing. For this recipe, I add typical Sicilian ingredients like chard, fennel, anchovy, pecorino and pine nuts for an especially herby effect. The wild fennel fronds that grow prolifically on Sicilian soil are not available where I live, so I use a combination of fronds from cultivated fennel and crushed fennel seeds. Cooks in Northern California can forage for it, though.

13KITCHEN2-articleLargeEvan Sung for The New York Times

Some use toothpicks to keep the stuffing in, but I don’t mind if some falls out while the calamari are roasting.

Be sure to purchase the tentacles as well as the tubes (some fishmongers sell them separately). They are delicious when roasted alongside the stuffed calamari and great fun to eat.

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May 5 2015

Study of Central Coast marine reserves finds signs of fish recovery

Researchers say more time is needed for fish populations to flourish

MorroBayFishermensWharfTourists stop to watch fish being unloaded at the Morro Bay Fishermen’s Wharf.


Fish populations have shown signs of rebounding in state marine protected areas off California’s Central Coast, but more time is needed for them to flourish, according to a recent study conducted by Cal Poly and the California Sea Grant.

The study was published in March in Plos One, a peer-reviewed journal by the Public Library of Science.

The study examined the first seven years of monitoring of fish within four marine protected areas (MPAs) between San Francisco and Morro Bay.

Fishing within MPAs is generally prohibited or severely limited to allow refuges for fish species that are harvested commercially.

MPAs make up about 18 percent of the state water territory.

“These marine reserves are going to work, but they’re not a short-term solution for commercial fisheries,” said the study’s lead author, Rick Starr, director of the California Sea Grant’s Extension Program.

Starr said that fish populations go up and down based on environmental conditions, and they’ve not detected much difference in populations inside and outside the protected areas.

“In the seven years of data examined, we didn’t see much change that could be attributed to the MPA status,” Starr said.

That could be partly due to reduced fishing pressure through regulations in non-protected areas, the scientists said.

However, Starr believes more time is needed to assess the newer MPAs.

In comparison, the much older Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, protected since 1973, is thriving with an abundance of fish.

Cal Poly biological resources researcher Dean Wendt, a co-author of the study, said about 20 fish per hour can be caught recreationally in Point Lobos near Monterey — compared to about seven fish per hour in the MPAs Año Nuevo (north of Santa Cruz), Piedras Blancas (between Morro Bay and Monterey) and Point Buchon (near Morro Bay). That’s an indicator that the Point Lobos zone is far more populated.


A director with the Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, Jeremiah O’Brien, said that he has appreciated the collaboration between fishermen and scientists in the research.But O’Brien said he’s skeptical about the type of ocean management that blocks off large areas off the coast from fishing.

“These MPAs were mandated by many who know nothing about fishing and less about ocean issues,” O’Brien said. “There are many management tools available, and this is a poor choice. Seven years and there is no difference — one would think that there would be some noticeable change no matter how small.”

O’Brien, however, added that “we have a lot of respect for Dean Wendt, and he always tries to include commercial fisherman in his work.”

More research details

Starr and Wendt, who is dean of research in Cal Poly’s biological sciences department, coordinated with a team of marine researchers and more than 700 volunteer fishermen to sample fish within and outside of the protected areas.The scientists attribute the study results to several factors, including the longer life and reproductive cycles of cold-water California fish, including some that live to be more than 50 years old and can take several years to reproduce.

However, lingcod, which take 3 to 5 years to mature, have seen increases in population within the MPAs, Wendt said.

Fish recruitment — meaning how well local juvenile fish are surviving — is another factor.

In some years, conditions can be right for juvenile fish to significantly add to the population, while in other years ocean currents channel them farther out to sea, where they die. In El Niño years, juvenile fish don’t have enough to eat.

Rockfish recruitment is particularly sporadic, meaning it can be more difficult to gauge how well the MPAs are working.

The idea behind the MPAs is that eventually the protected zones will contribute to a “spillover” effect in which species move from the protected areas to surrounding ocean vicinities to help grow populations.

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May 3 2015

D.B. Pleschner: West Coast sardine decline: Science vs. politics


Why the closure? According to environmental groups like Oceana, it was to stop overfishing and save starving sea lions deprived of essential sardines.

Neither reason is true, but many in the media have trumpeted this hyperbole put forth by groups whose political agenda is to shut down fishing completely.

The scientific facts present a different picture: the sardine population is not overfished. And sea lion mortality has not been caused by overfishing sardines.

As Dr. Ray Hilborn, professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington and one of the most respected experts on marine fishery population dynamics in the world, recently noted, “Even if there had been no fishing, the decline in California’s sardines would have been almost exactly the same.” Dr. Richard Parrish, another esteemed scientist with deep knowledge of sardines and ocean cycles, outlined how natural mortality and predation consume five times more sardines than the fishery harvests.

The truth is that the marine environment plays the major role in determining the size of the sardine stock and its effect on the ecosystem.

Dr. Kevin Hill, a fisheries scientist with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center who leads West Coast sardine stock assessments noted that, “Pacific sardines are known for wide swings in their population: the small, highly productive species multiplies quickly in good conditions and can decline sharply at other times, even in the absence of fishing. You can have the best harvest controls in the world, but you’re not going to prevent the population from declining when ocean conditions change in an unfavorable way.”

That’s why the sardine harvest control rule — developed in part by Parrish for the management plan in place since 2000 — automatically regulates the sardine fishery both by reducing the fishing quota and reducing the harvest rate as the stock declines. And it shuts down the fishery if the biomass falls below 150,000 metric tons.

The 2015 sardine population is estimated to be 97,000 metric tons, a worst-case projection, and the control rule did exactly what it was designed to do — it closed the fishery after a series of poor recruitment years.

The sardine fishery would have been shut down regardless of the frenetic lobbying of groups like Oceana. The goal of the policy is to keep at least 75 percent of the sardine population in the ocean.

Regarding the sea lion problem, the El Niño cycle that we’re experiencing is a major reason for increased pup mortality, not the lack of sardines. Sardines comprise a minor portion of sea lions’ diet. According to NMFS scientist Mark Lowry, who has studied sea lion scat for 30 years, sardines number eighth on the list of typical sea lion dietary preferences.

The sea lion population has increased 5 percent a year even without sardines.

Pup counts dipped during the 2003 El Niño also, and we’re experiencing another El Niño event now. Yet the sea lion population has grown by 600 percent since the mid-1970s; they now hog docks and sink boats from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest.

Hardworking fishermen take pride in the precautionary fishery management that’s been in place for more than a decade, and they resent groups who demonize them for “overfishing.” It’s an unjust and erroneous accusation leveled at people trying to make an honest living, provide a service to the public and do the right thing for the environment.

The fact is that sardines are critically important to California’s historic fishing industry as well as to the Golden State. The “wetfish” industry fishes on a complex of coastal pelagic species also including mackerels, anchovy and market squid, but sardines are an important part of this complex. The industry produces on average 80 percent of total fishery landings statewide and close to 40 percent of dockside value.

Thankfully the Pacific Fishery Management Council recognized the need to maintain a small harvest of sardines caught incidentally in other CPS fisheries. A total prohibition on sardine fishing would curtail California’s wetfish industry and seriously harm numerous harbors, including Monterey, as well as the state’s fishing economy.

D.B. Pleschner is executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, a nonprofit dedicated to research and to promote sustainable Wetfish resources.