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Feds Cut Sardine Catch out of Concern Over Decline

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Updated: 11/04/2013 1:21 pm

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal fisheries managers have cut upcoming West Coast sardine harvests by two-thirds while scientists try to get a better handle on indications the population is entering a significant down cycle.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted 7-6 Sunday in Costa Mesa, Calif., to set the overall harvest level for California, Oregon and Washington at about 7,000 metric tons for the first six months of 2014. The issue will be taken up again after a new and more complete population assessment is issued in April.

Council member Marci Yaremko (yah-rem-koe) of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the council decided to take an even more precautionary approach than management guidelines call for because of evidence that few young sardines are joining the population.

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