Dennis L. Taylor has reported on diverse issues for three decades in the San Francisco and Monterey bay areas, including 10 years in the Silicon Valley business press covering venture capital and technology investments. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS. The latest surveys estimate the abundance of northern Pacific sardines at roughly 28,000 metric tons, well-below the 150,000 metric ton threshold required for commercial fishermen to start dropping nets. Sardine populations go through natural cyclical fluctuations, but to see numbers this low is caused from over-fishing. Of particular concern are California sea lions and brown pelicans. In 2006, there were nearly 1.8 million metric tons of sardine swimming off the Pacific U.S., according to NOAA’s estimates. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. … Sardine populations go through natural cyclical fluctuations, but to see numbers this low is caused from over-fishing. The crash of the fishery has broad ripple effects, particularly on predatory marine animals that consider sardines a key food source, said Ashley Blacow-Draeger, Pacific policy and communications manager for Oceana. The numbers are startling. Not only does Pleschner-Steele reject the notion that overfishing played a role in the decline of the sardine stock, she calls the stock’s collapse “fake news.”, “Oceana claims that overfishing is the cause of the sardine fishery decline,” Diane Pleschner-Steele said, “but the absolute opposite is true: fishing is a non-issue and more importantly, the sardine stock is not declining.”. In 2017 the sardine stock stood at 86,586 metric tons. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. “We’ve witnessed dramatic starvation effects to ocean animals.”. After the assessment is finalized, it will then go to a 12-member Pacific Fishery Management Council that will make a recommendation to Marine Fisheries. In 2017 the sardine stock stood at 86,586 metric tons. Estimates suggest the Pacific sardine population decreased from 1.8 million tons to 86,000 tons between 2006 and 2017. Her argument is that Marine Fisheries does not count sardines in areas where they are abundant, such as closer to shore. After the assessment is finalized, it will then go to a 12-member Pacific Fishery Management Council that will make a recommendation to Marine Fisheries. MONTEREY — Sardine fishermen in Monterey Bay are facing a fifth straight year of restrictions on the amount they will be permitted to catch, creating financial hardships for the commercial industry. Marine Fisheries acknowledges its inability to survey nearshore areas, but does not believe the numbers of missed fish are great enough to make its data inaccurate. The crash of the fishery has broad ripple effects, particularly on predatory marine animals that consider sardines a key food source, said Ashley Blacow-Draeger, Pacific policy and communications manager for Oceana. The latest assessment puts … Restrictions on overfished sardines in Monterey…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Restrictions on overfished sardines in Monterey Bay create financial hardships for fishermen, Local legend receives birthday parade surprise, Photo | A Thanksgiving meal in Santa Cruz, A countdown to Dec. 1: Less than 100 ballots to go before certification deadline, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band reignites cultural burning, Nearly 60 test positive for COVID-19 in Capitola skilled nursing facility, Santa Cruz City Council adopts Wharf Master Plan, Santa Cruz County law enforcement ups ante in Thanksgiving enforcement, Start of commercial crab season delayed | Fish Rap. If they do produce chicks, many also die from the effects of not enough food and nutrients, Blacow-Draege said. The brown pelican population also suffers because malnutrition interferes with their reproductive systems. A new draft assessment from the National Marine Fisheries Service indicates a sardine population of 27,547 metric tons. The collapse is a result of overfishing, Shester said. Sardine fishery likely will be closed this season, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Youth mental health: The pandemic’s toll on our kids, $6,000 a week: Demand for nurses amid COVID surge has hospitals bracing for staffing shortages, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band reignites cultural burning, Coronavirus: Salinas doctors worry as cases spike, including on the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas: Palma School students and prison inmates featured on CNN, Sand City mulls budget after defeat of Measure U, Jogger sexually assaulted on Monterey Rec Trail, Youth mental health: The pandemic's toll on our kids, Palma grad Matt Mercurio chasing perfection as a kicker at San Jose State. Of particular concern are California sea lions and brown pelicans. Van Houtan and others had suspected upwelling played a role in sardine population trends, but scientists only started measuring the process in Monterey Bay in 1946. The restriction, which would essentially cancel the 2019-2020 commercial sardine season, must be applied when populations drop under 150,000 metric tons, said Geoff Shester, senior scientist with the Monterey office of Oceana, a marine environmental watchdog group. The sardine population, it said, is about 26 percent lower than the estimates because of a lack of spawning due to poor ocean conditions in 2014. “The crash of Pacific sardines has been difficult to watch,” Shester said. The brown pelican population also suffers because malnutrition interferes with their reproductive systems. The conclusions will be implemented at the beginning of the season on July 1. If they do produce chicks, many also die from the effects of not enough food and nutrients, Blacow-Draege said. MONTEREY — Sardine fishermen in Monterey Bay are facing a fifth straight year of restrictions on the amount they will be permitted to catch, creating financial hardships for the commercial industry. The most recent stock assessment in 2019 measured the sardine population to be 27,547 metric tons. According to the Fisheries Service, any tonnage below 50,000 metric tons is considered “overfished.” That’s a 98.5 percent collapse since 2006. Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, was not available to comment Wednesday, but she told the Monterey Herald following the 2018 assessment that “fishermen are seeing more sardines, not less, especially in nearshore waters.”, She believes the methods in which the Marine Fisheries collect data is flawed.