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Declining Biomass Sparks Calls to Close Pacific Sardine Fishery

Lucy Towers
24 April 2015, at 1:00am

US - The Pacific Fishery Management Council has urged the National Marine Fisheries Service to close the Pacific sardine fishing season as quickly as possible, citing concerns about a declining biomass and the potential for the remainder of this years quota to be caught rapidly.

This follows the Council’s decision to close next year’s fishery, based on largely the same concerns.

When NMFS closes the sardine fishery, a small amount of harvest is still allowed for incidental catch in other fisheries such as Pacific mackerel, to allow them to continue operating.

However, if the allocated amount of incidental harvest is reached, those other fisheries will also be shut down.

In making its decision, the Council considered advice from its science, management, and advisory committees, as well as public testimony.