Sources: FishBase; NOAA Fisheries; California Sea Grant
Photo: Paula Selby
See the sardines’ schooling behavior in person at Birch Aquarium!
The Pacific sardine was the largest fishery on the North American Pacific coast in the 1930s and 1940s, but in 1949 it collapsed. The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) was created to help determine the cause of the collapse. Since then, CalCOFI has become so much more than just about sardines. A collaboration between Scripps, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Centers, and CCE-LTER, CalCOFI now goes on quarterly cruises where they sample hydrographic and biological data from up to 113 stations. These cruises help us learn about climate change, the state of fisheries, invasive species, plastic pollution, and countless other scientific questions we couldn’t have imagined back in 1949!