Anti-consuptivists. I didn’t think I was being shadowy?
Robert, they’re not heading for extinction, that’s just the Oregon news outlet trying to sell papers to Oregonians who eat that stuff up.
They are a boom and bust species, this isn’t the first time in the last hundred years they’ve been “poised for extinction” and just like the other times, it comes on the heels of a massive El Nino and switching of the PDO. This bust was predicted for a long time. I don’t ever trust estimates of how many 6" fish are left in the entire Pacific ocean, but even if their 65,000 metric tons estimate is right, that’s 573 MILLION fish. For a resilient species with a population doubling time of about 2 years, that’s a solid breeding stock.
The fishing cutbacks aren’t because there aren’t enough fish left – it’s because you don’t want to kick them when they’re down due to the natural boom and bust cycles. In the early to mid 20th century, they made that mistake and kept fishing them very hard until they couldn’t catch anymore, and actually did threaten the species. Ten years later, there were plenty of sardines again.
Simply put, they’re not overfished, this collapse isn’t caused by or even contributed to by overfishing, and when they inevitably bounce back they’ll continue to be commercially exploited as every natural resource should be.
BTW if you do the math from that article, even though sardines have dropped (assuming the numbers they provide are accurate) by 90% just since 2007, had they only dropped by 75%, we’d not only be unconcerned, but we’d still be fishing for them. Saying we can’t fish them this year isn’t saying that they’re doomed and we’re screwed. That’s what those shadowy-anticonsumptivists will spin it as, however