Fluctuations in forage fish population are common, a study reveals
Karla Knudsen and Athena Eyster examine a sample of deep-water sediment collected on Santa Barbara Channel. (Photo: Ingrid Hendy)
(UNITED STATES, 2/23/2017)
A new study shows in detail that forage fish stocks have experienced peak and decline cycles for centuries, and that at least three species living off the west coast of the United States have repeatedly experienced steep increases in population, followed by falls, long before the commercial fishing began.
In California, Pacific sardine, northern anchovy and Pacific hake were in collapsed state 29 to 40 percent of the time during the 500-year period from A.D. 1000 to 1500, according to research published by Geophysical Research Letters.
By using a long time series of fish scales deposited in low-oxygen offshore sedimentary environments off southern California, the study authors (from NOAA Fisheries and the (More Info)
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