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Pacific Coast sardine fisheries in decline, upcoming season cancelled

Flickr member Allie_Caulfield

The upcoming 2015-2016 sardine fishing season off the Central Coast will be closed in an effort to help rebuild the fish population, according to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

Council members made the decision at their current meeting in the Bay Area.

“While this is a sad day for all those dependent on a healthy sardine fishery, it is actually a good thing that this Council is addressing the problem directly, something you don’t always see across the nation or certainly, internationally,” said Council member Frank Lockhart.

Additionally, the current season scheduled to end June 30, could be cut back as well. Council members will vote on whether to take that action on Wednesday, after listening to public testimony.

The Council said new information has been presented that has called into question whether action should be taken to reduce the remaining season, "which has about 2,900 metric tons remaining in the directed fishery and 500 metric tons remaining for incidental take in fisheries targeting other species," according to a statement released Monday.

The meeting is being held at the DoubleTree in Rohnert Park.