Article featuring work by Farallon Institute describes an ecosystem that is not as healthy as it appears

Over the past couple of years, charismatic marine mammals have been easily seen near California's shores as they fed on dense schools of anchovy.  In the summers of 2016 and 2017, particularly, the Golden Gate Bridge was an excellent vantage from which to watch humpback whales below as they fed.  Despite the appearance of a vibrant nearshore marine ecosystem, anchovy populations have actually had extremely low numbers.  When the abundance of these fish reaches such low numbers, their behavioral tendency is to cluster near the shoreline rather than spread out in the greater general vicinity.  Having the anchovy and their predators near the shore makes them more visible to people, but gives a misleading picture about the health of their populations.  This situation and Farallon Institute's recent work on assessing anchovy abundance fluctuations in California was highlighted in an article by News Deeply: Oceans Deeply.  Read more here.

 Photo by Ron LeValley

Photo by Ron LeValley