The Southeast harvests in both 2020 and 2018 were around 8 million fish — among some of the lowest in decades.
This year, researchers recorded the biggest bloom they’ve ever seen.
USGS biologist Sarah Schoen said the project started about five years ago when a major heat wave, known as “the blob,” hit the ocean. Around the same time, there was a die-off of an estimated million common murres — a northern seabird — from Alaska down to California.
Some fish, like certain populations of herring, are rebounding more rapidly. But taken altogether, the data paints the picture of an ecosystem still reeling from a warming ocean.
A new study bolster reports by Alaska subsistence fishermen that the species’ numbers have been increasing as the Arctic warms at more than double the rate of the rest of the globe.
As these heatwaves continue, they may have far more devastating implications to fisheries than previously predicted.
The first “Blob” decimated fisheries, caused a mass seabird die-off and spurred toxic algal blooms up and down the coast. As Alaska braced for the second heat wave, it disappeared — at least for now.
Alaskans may remember a few years ago, when huge numbers of common murres, a type of northern seabird, were washing up dead onshore.
This year is the first that the plant, now owned by Trident Seafoods, won’t be processing cod — and that’s because of climate change.
In an unprecedented response to historically low numbers of Pacific cod, the federal cod fishery in the Gulf of Alaska is closing for the 2020 season.