New research suggests that the population of California anchovies—a critical food source for ocean wildlife such as whales, salmon, brown pelicans, and sea lions—has dwindled to levels not seen since the early 1950s. The research, funded in part by Pew, was conducted by scientists with the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in Petaluma, California. The study, currently in press with the journal Fisheries Research, was also recently submitted to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. It concludes, “Although current annual catch levels of a few thousand tons are small by historical standards, current exploitation rates could be high given the low stock abundance, and should be taken under consideration by fishery managers.”
Read the full study (PDF).