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Climate Change to Blame for Lower Sardine Catches

06 January 2014

MEXICO - According to the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), Mexican catches of sardine and other small pelagic fish, such as anchovy and mackerel, were significantly reduced between 2011 and 2012, from over 70,000 tons to 44,208 tons.

In order to understand the processes of distribution, movements and abundance of sardine biomass in the marine area from the Peninsula of Baja California to British Columba, scientists from Mexico, United States and Canada gathered at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE) to propose measures to help improve the production of these fish.

For 10 years the trilateral meeting is held and has released data on this species.

Iin 1994, sardine stocks were first detected near Canada, which led to the granting of 50 licenses, but in 2012, environmental factors led to a decline in sardines in the area. Sardine became nonexistent in the 2012-13 season.

According to the discussion in this trilateral forum, what happened with this fishery resource is a key indicator of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Dr Timothy Baumgartner, researcher (CICESE) said that this trilateral meeting seeks to understand the movement and distribution of the species.

In turn, Cisco Werner, director of Fisheries Science Center Sothwest said: "We will seek to implement more continuous observation systems in a sustainable way in the framework of cooperation with technology."

He added that changes in ecosystems are very fast, and the way to get results is to observe continuously to keep the information.

It has been identified that changes in climate and ecosystems of the California Current have impacted this type of marine species, and catch report will be proposed in every nation, regional plans to protect and research studies for the three nations to share information and make a plan to keep the fishery resource population.

TheFishSite News Desk

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