Subject: El Nino:Fish, marine life affected by (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:06:06 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Tue, 14 Apr 98 00:21:00 GMT 
Subject: Fish, marine life affected by

Fish, marine life affected by El Nino

   TIBURON, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- Researchers with the National
Marine Fisheries Service say El Nino weather conditions are suspected
of causing a scarcity of food that's left many baitfish malnourished
in the waters off San Francisco.
   The biologists say they found many sardines and anchovies that were
remarkably thin for their size and appeared undernourished.
   Samples of the fish were saved and will be analyzed and compared
with samples collected in previous years.
   Scientists say the presence of El Nino conditions has reduced ocean
productivity to the point that many fish appear to be having difficulty
finding food.
   They say fine mesh plankton nets deployed during a survey last month
collected very little plankton, which are typically eaten by larger
fish and whales.
   El Nino weather conditions are also being blamed for an unusually
sparse population of seabirds and marine mammals in the area.
   At the time of the survey, onlythe northern fur seal was abundant
and there were a few sightings of most porpoise species. No whales were
observed at the time.