Officials: “Historic crisis” along US West Coast… “We’re facing a fishery disaster”… “Very never-seen-before things”… Should be exclamation alarm to public — Extinction threat for salmon runs; Loss of sardines, squid, sea urchins, kelp; Massive sea star deaths; Marine mammal strandings… more

Published: February 23rd, 2016 at 9:37 am ET
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Press Democrat, Feb 11, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists and lawmakers foresee grim outlook for California’s ocean fisheries… the outlook is overwhelmingly grim, presenters said at an annual forum of the joint legislative Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. “Something’s going on in the ocean, and it’s not right, and it doesn’t fit our historical understandings,” California Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham told members of the committe… Bonham noted stretches of coastline suddenly barren of sea urchins… [N]umerous anomalies… are growing increasingly apparent, Bonham said. “This should be an… alarm to the general public”… Bonham said… [S]everal witnesses Thursday forecast what most in the industry already have anticipated: a collapse, or near collapse, of key salmon runs in the state… “I cannot say this more bluntly,” [State Senator Mike McGuire] said. “We are facing a fishery disaster here in California”… U.S. Department of Commerce [is] considering a request by Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a fishery disaster…

Ocean Beach Rag, Feb 18, 2016: California’s Crab and Salmon Fisheries Threatened By Historic Crisis… [O]fficials testified about the dire situation that the salmon and crab fishery is in at a recent forum at the State Capitol… “The salmon and crab fisheries are threatened by a historic crisis. We’re facing a fishery disaster” [said Senator Mike McGuire]… “We’ve gone from abundance to scarcity… “During the last two years, we’ve lost over 95 percent of the Sacramento River winter-run chinook and over 95 percent of the fall-run Chinook.”… things are expected to be even worse this year… Something’s going on in the ocean — State officials and scientists spoke on the unprecedented changes in the ocean believed to be impacting crab, salmon and other fish populations… These include the massive deaths of sea stars, the decline of the squid fishery, the closure of the sardine fishery, the decline of kelp habitat and the loss of most of the red sea urchins north of San Francisco recently…

Mad River Union, Feb 18, 2016: Ocean behavior alarming, puzzling… The following is one of several stories about the crab and fisheries calamities… [Bonham] testified that menacing changes are altering both marine biology and ecology and the changes do not fit historical understandings of ocean behavior. Bonham declared grimly, “This should be an exclamation alarm to the general public to stay aware and engaged in the ecological change going on in the ocean.”… [M]ost of the red urchin population has perished, moving from abundance to scarcity in just a few years.Mile-long stretches of the North Coast [are] urchin barrens,” Bonham stated… There have emerged “very never-seen-before things“… The salmon outlook remains unfavorable… The Sacramento winter run “really raises the existential threat of extinction,” he testified… [T]oxic contamination generated by algal blooms may spread well beyond crabs and urchins, raising sinister unknowns, Bonham predicted warily. “Why not more and more species one right after another?” he asked…

Daily Astorian, Feb 18, 2016: Marine mammal strandings concern experts; A humpback whale that washed ashore in Seaside was one of several strandings… In the past few weeks, a humpback whale washed ashore in Seaside, and a harbor porpoise and two striped dolphins were found on the North Coast…

See also: Sickened animals “unlike anything doctors have ever seen” on West Coast — “They’re eating themselves from the inside” — Cancers… liver, pancreas, intestines shut down — Unprecedented catastrophe to cause loss of 200,000 sea lions (VIDEO)

Published: February 23rd, 2016 at 9:37 am ET
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