January 7, 2014
A fundamental rule of any ecosystem: everything is connected. So, west coast fishermen are sounding the alarm about a recent crash in the sardine population, which is expected to affect animals large and small, and create a huge impact on the businesses that rely on the Pacific Ocean’s bounty.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the sardine collapse is the worst since the mid-20th century, with the population falling an estimated 72 percent since 2006, and leading regulators to impose tight limits on how many sardines fishermen may catch -- if they can catch any at all. Since it’s unclear what, precisely, is causing this current sardine collapse, both scientists and business interests are at a loss for how to react, the Times said. Whatever actions are taken, however, the report said there’s already evidence the lack of sardines is adversely affecting sea lion and pelican populations along the California coast.