The Pacific sardine population is in a state of collapse and current management measures are not using the best available science. Unfortunately, the Pacific sardine fishery has not been managed for long-term sustainability in a manner that prevents overfishing, achieves optimum yield, and protects the health of our ocean ecosystem. We are now seeing direct impacts of this sardine collapse on the water, including the recent Unusual Mortality Event of yearling California sea lions, which are starving due to a lack of prey, and are also seeing remarkably low landings in the California sardine fishery so far this year. Furthermore, new analysis of temperature data indicates that recent environmental conditions are unfavorable for sardine productivity and that recent exploitation rates have resulted in overfishing. In order to prevent overfishing from occurring again in 2013 and to correct current fundamental flaws in the Pacific sardine control rule, we request the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) take immediate action as laid out in this comment letter.
Optimizing U.S.-harvest quotas to meet the target total exploitation of an internationally exploited stock of Pacific sardine, (Demer, David A. and Zwolinsk, Juan P.)
An estimate of the average portion of the northern stock of Pacific sardine residing in the U.S. exclusive economic zone, (Demer, David A. and Zwolinsk, Juan P.)Download the Report