Disparition de la sardine en Californie

La sardine a déserté la côte Pacifique.
Aucune prise en 2014. Fukushima en serait responsable. Premières victimes : les pélicans affamés.

“They’re All Gone”: Shock as sardines vanish off California — Fishermen didn’t find a single one all summer — Scientist: This is about the entire Pacific coast… Canada, Mexico, U.S. — NOAA: We don’t know why; The young aren’t surviving

Long Beach Press Telegram, Jan. 13, 2014: Sardine vanish off the coast; squid and anchovy fill the void for fishermen — [Larry Derr] has pulled up [Pacific sardines] by the ton since the 1980s [...] it was a shock when he couldn’t find one of the shiny silver-blue coastal fish all summer [...] anchovies have proven a poor replacement since sardines became scarce. Fortunately, a boom in market squid has propelled Derr and other coastal pelagic fishers. [...] Some have attributed recent rashes of sea lion pup and pelican deaths to the sardine population decline, which began a few years ago and was officially recognized in December [...] “Everybody’s calling me every day for sardines,” Derr said. “They’re all gone. Even Monterey Bay Aquarium is still waiting for some to restock one of their exhibits.” [...]
Kerry Griffin, NOAA: “Is it El Nino? Pacific Decadal Oscillation? El Nina? Long-term climate change? More marine mammals eating sardines? Did they all go to Mexico or farther offshore? We don’t know.”
Russ Vetter, NOAA: “They haven’t had a good recruitment [...] You have to have adults that produce the eggs and then environmental conditions that would allow them to grow and then to not have them eaten by pelicans and terns, etc. It’s always complicated about why a fish egg doesn’t make it through the problems but we do know that, when the ocean is on the cooler side, conditions aren’t right.”
Geoff Shester, scientist with Oceana: “This is about the entire Pacific coast including the U.S. and Mexico, not just British Columbia [...] If fishermen have stopped fishing because they’ve hit their quota, that’s one thing. But they’re stopping because they can’t find any fish. That means fishery management is failing. [...] We’re in an emergency situation right now. Any fishing is overfishing when the stock is in this condition.”

Captain Corbin Hanson, Southern California, Jan. 5, 2014: [He was] growing more desperate as the night wore on. After 12 hours and $1,000 worth of fuel, [they] returned to port without a single fish. “Tonight’s pretty reflective of how things have been going [...] Not very well.” [...] If his crew catches sardines these days, they are larger, older fish [...] Largely absent are the small and valuable young fish [...] the voice of another boat captain lamented over the radio, “I haven’t seen a scratch.” [...] By daybreak, Hanson was piloting the hulking boat back to the docks with nothing in its holds.
Los Angeles Times, Jan. 5, 2014:
  • West Coast sardine crash could radiate throughout ecosystem
  • The biggest sardine crash in generations
  • Scientists say the effects are probably radiating throughout the ecosystem, starving brown pelicans, sea lions and other predators
  • Experts warn the West Coast’s marine mammals, seabirds and fishermen could suffer for years
  • The reason for the drop is unclear
  • The decline is the steepest since the collapse of the sardine fishery in the mid-20th century
  • Their numbers are projected to keep sliding
  • The crash is raising alarm
  • There is evidence some ocean predators are starving without sardines
  • Scarcity of prey is the leading theory behind the 1,600 malnourished sea lion pups that washed up along beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego in early 2013, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist at the National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Biologists also suspect the drop is hurting brown pelicans [which] have shown signs of starvation and have largely failed to breed or rear chicks there since 2010
  • Normally, pelicans and sea lions would adapt by instead gobbling up anchovies [...] aside from an unusual boom in Monterey Bay, anchovy numbers are depressed too
Monterey County Weekly, Jan. 1, 2014: Whale spouts shoot up from the left, right and center [...] juvenile sea lions number in the hundreds [...] Then, two humpbacks break the surface just 50 feet from the boat [...] There’s so much poetry in motion that it’s hard to resist the idea that you are witnessing something historic, that these humpback whales – nearly all of whom normally migrate to Mexico some time in the fall – are trying to tell us something. And they are, if we listen. There’s a simple explanation why this fall’s whale watching season was so unusually epic on Monterey Bay: anchovies. [...] The one thing everyone agrees on is that sardines are crashing, and quickly. [...]

Published: January 14th, 2014 at 8:16 pm ET  By ENENews

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