Why the West Coast's Herring are declining

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WB Staff
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:56 am

Why the West Coast's Herring are declining

Post by WB Staff »

west coast herring.png
Tens of millions of silvery sardine-sized fish pour into San Francisco Bay each winter to lay and fertilize their eggs. The water turns milky gray as the males release their sperm, and other animals gather to feast — pelicans, gulls, cormorants, seals, sea lions, sturgeon and more. Fishermen pursue the small fish, too; some use gear as trivial as baited hooks floated under bobbers, while others use boats and set gillnets that catch many tons at a time.

But the phenomenal annual spawning events of the Pacific herring, which often aggregate densely along the Richmond and downtown San Francisco shorelines, have been losing their grandeur. Estimated herring populations dropped steeply about five years ago. The fish have not recovered, and scientists studying the decline aren't exactly sure why.

William Sydeman, a senior scientist with the Farallones Institute, based in Petaluma, has studied long-term trends in Pacific herring abundance.

Read it all: https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/ ... d=28151512
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