Author Archives: annaholder2014

What’s Happening with Pacific Sardine?

Pacific sardine

Pacific sardine

Last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service closed the large-volume commercial Pacific sardine fishery in state and federal waters off California, Oregon, and Washington until at least July 2016. This lucrative fishery brought in over $40 million to California only eight years ago. Pacific sardine biomass has decreased since then and is now too low to support large volume fishing, forcing fishery managers to close the fishery to protect the population. What happened to the Pacific sardine, and how are the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW’s) fishery managers helping to protect this small pelagic fish, which plays an integral role in the Pacific Ocean’s food web and in fishing communities coastwide? Continue reading

2015-2016 Commercial Market Squid Season Opens April 1


Market squid mating over an egg bed

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces that the 2015-2016 commercial fishing season for market squid will open coastwide in California on Wednesday April 1, 2015 for restricted access permit holders. The commercial market squid season runs from April 1 through March 31 of the following year and has a seasonal catch limit of 118,000 short tons. Continue reading

The Pacific Sardine Fishery: Then and Now

sardines and kelp

Sardines and giant kelp, Channel Islands

The Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax caerulea) is a small pelagic fish found throughout the Pacific Ocean. In California, the Pacific sardine fishery has historically been one of the largest commercial fisheries in the state. The fishery began in the early 1900s, peaked in the late 1930s, and then declined rapidly in the 1940s during a well-known population downturn fueled by oceanic regime changes and fishing pressure. A moratorium was placed on the Pacific sardine fishery Continue reading

A Bird’s Eye View: Aerial Surveys of Nearshore Waters Provide Important Information for Managing Coastal Pelagic Fishes

aerial view of sardine school

An unretouched aerial photo of a sardine school off Southern California

Since August 2012, CDFW’s Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Project and the California Wetfish Producers Association have been working together to develop a nearshore aerial survey program for southern California waters. The valuable data collected by the program may be used to set sustainable harvest limits and prevent overfishing of CPS, including Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, and northern anchovy. Continue reading