SACRAMENTO — The Pacific sardine fishery will remain shut down through June 30, 2018, according to a Pacific Fishery Management Council decision.
The fishery remains closed for a third consecutive year.
This year’s fishery was scheduled to open July 1, but testimony from scientists revealed its forecasted abundances was well short of the 150,000 metric ton threshold, according to the council.
Sardines, which recently peaked as a population within the region in 2006, generally thrive in warm water climates. The fishery, which runs from July 1 to June 30 and is assessed annually, reportedly fell to about 87,000 metric tons in 2017, compared to nearly one million tons 11 years earlier.
The closure means directed commercial fishing of sardines will not be allowed – though a mandated quote of 8,000 tons will be allowed by the council as part of incidental catch, live bait harvest and research.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council, one of eight regional fishery management councils under the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, makes fishery management recommendations for the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.