Tomorrow’s catch

Chaos theory’s potential for fisheries management

By Gabriel Popkin, 11:13 AM January 9, 2014

There’s something fishy going on with Pacific sardines. The pint-size swimmers, whose abundance sustained California’s famed Cannery Row for decades, all but disappeared from coastal waters in the 1950s. Numbers remained low until the late 1980s, when enough fish finally reappeared to make commercial harvesting worthwhile again. By then, sardines in the highly productive California Current were carefully managed: Nobody wanted another crash.

Scientists still debate what causes sardine numbers ...

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