Historical Fishing Events/Development

Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean since 1864,

Up through the 21st Century

(Fisheries Science Took Root, and the World's Oceans Were Fully Colonized)

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Date Location Event Societal/Ecological Consequence References
To 21st Century To Earlier History
History of Observation Systems
Diving Gear and Exploration

FAO Fisheries Publications:
Statement _ Garret Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons"

Climate/Fishery References

Fish as Food

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LandedValues @ 42 Japanese Ports
1864 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño First salmon cannery open on Columbia River Quinn/Trager #2
1864 California First salmon cannery opens Sacramento River, Washington in Yolo Co. Hapgood, Hume and Co. pack 2000 cases.1/2 spoil Trager #2
1864-1997 Norway G. O. Sars, son of Michael Sars, begins Norways first Sea Ranching efforts in 1865. In1884 a marine hatchery was set up in Flødevigen by Capt Gundar Dannevig, and in 1908 another in Trondheim, releasing 'seeds' of cod, plaice and lobster. The PUSH programme was a recent extension of Sars' original concepts.

Repeated, updated studies of periodicities of both herring and cod fisheries indicate solar forcing is involved in the ocean changes that these ocean ecosystems respond to.

Lunar Tidal Forcing on 18.6 year and several century time scales are also indicated, i.e., O.Pettersson 1914, - see also Wyatt link - to right

Tim Wyatt

wrote up a delightful historical perspective of these historical and more recent efforts.

1865-66 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Ý Quinn
1866 Pacific coast More Salmon canneries open on Columbia River San Francisco salmon cannery opens Trager
1867-69 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Ý Quinn
1867 Sitka, Alaska "Seward's Folly" purchase of Alaska from Russia 2 cents/acre - from Failing Russian Business/Natives? McDougall
1870s-1880s Sweden Reports by Axel Ljungman on the changing fortunes of the herring fisheries along Sweden's west coast listed the various posed causes, including solar cycles - after Schwabe. Sweden's herring fisheries were callled 'periodical' because they only lasted from 20 to 80 years, with intervals of 60 to 100 (average 70 years) when North Sea herring did not enter the Kattegat, or visit Sweden's coast.

Tim Wyatt

"Long-Term trends in Norwegian cod fisheries - the pioneers"

1871-1879 GLOUCESTER 82 Cod Schooners/ Crews lost in Gales From 1830-1900 ~3,800 fishermen died from this one port, >2X total US casualties in War of 1812 Kurlansky
1871 USA The United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, formed on February 9th is the first federal agency concerned with natural resources issues 1st U.S. Fish Commissioner, Spencer F. Baird, selects Woods Hole as site of the nation's first fisheries laboratory US Fisheries Historical Timeline
1871 USA The United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries, engages fish culturist seth Green to transport newly hatched Hudson River shad from Rochester, NY, across the continent to Tehama, Calif., where they are released into the Sacramento River. Nearly 2/3 of the fry survive the 7 day trip, and witthin 9 years will be spawning in Oregon's Umpoua and Coos Rivers - starting a new industry. They are eventually caught, processed, sold, and often sent back to the East Coast, as the shad there decline due to industrialization and related pollution, etc. Trager
1871 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Ý Quinn
1871 North America Halifax Fisheries Commission created Awards Britain $4.5 million for US fishing rights Trager
1871 Arctic Early Winter Whaling Fleet lost/crews saved Trager
1871 USA US Fisheries Commission created President Grant names Spencer Baird - Director Trager
1872 Plymouth, U.K. HMS Challenger Expedition Age of Scientific Exploration of Seas Begins

Challenger Logs

1872-73 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Caviedes
1873-74 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño No. India/China/ Drought/GreatFamine/ 5 million die Quinn/Trager
1874 Russia/Siberia Russia ended "Official Colonization" of Siberia/Pacific Russian-America Co. lost interest/Alaskan fur bearers decimated McDougall
1875-76 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Caviedes
1876 USA U.S. Fish Commission founded by an Act of Congress in 1876 - motivated by the eminent collapse of the New England Cod stocks. So what has changed? The North Atlantic Cod Stocks Bloomed and went away twice in the intervening 100 or so years. - "A frustrating aspect of US Fisheries Management is that these facts are ignored." US History/WE Evans
1876-78 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Greatest recorded famine kills 10s of million Chinese Quinn/Trager #2
1877 Vancouver. BC First commercial herring fished in region 75 tons, soon raised to 500 tons Trager
1878 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies SOI
1878 Asia Lingering drought/worst famine 10 million Chinese/maybe twice as many die Trager
1878 Alaska 1st salmon cannery/Asian/Indian labor Initiates major industry growth/major social changes McD/Mitchell
1878 Swedish coast Bohuslan herring bloom Begin 19 year abundance period Lindquist
1878 North Atlantic Cod Fisheries Collapse Periodic Collapse/Social Disaster
1879 Atlantic/NEAsia Nordenkiold/Vega/NE Passage Sailing derided/Siberian Railroad justified/Witte McDougall
1879 Wisconsin lakes US Fish Commission plants carp Resilient carp provide food resource Trager
1880-81 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño European crops fail, Indian crops eaten by rats Quinn
1880 Juneau/Harris SE Alaska Discover GOLD in Alaska "Panhandle" Soon gone. Everyone moves on to Yukon McDougall
1880 Alaska Tlinkits act as Outfitters/Porters Moving "miners" from Juneau to Klondike Boundary -Tlinkits made more $/day than fishing Mitchell
1883 Washington State RailRoad reaches Puget Sound A decade after North Pacific's Jaye Cooke bankrupted trying McDougall

New Jersey,


North American lobster catch reaches an all time high of 130 million lbs, but oil refineries started fouling the coastal ocean - and they begin to declines, soon to be followed by declines off Maine and Massachusetts

Maryland oyster catches catch reaches nearly 15 million bushels.


910,000 shad fry freom the East Coast are planted in the Columbia River... where only the roe is popular

1883 Cambridge, UK "I believe, then, that the cod fishery, the herring fishery, the pilchard fishery, the mackerel fishery, and probably all the great sea fisheries, are inexhaustible; that is to say, that nothing we do seriously affects the number of the fish. And any attempt to regulate these fisheries seems consequently, from the nature of the case, to be useless."

Meanwhile, modern NGO spokespersons point out - and like lemmings chase one another over the brink repeating - only this small part of his original, quite thoughtfull statement - as they clearly have never read the whole thing...

Of course Huxley had earlier qualified this statement bys setting up his context a few sentences before:

"...in relation to our present modes of fishing..."

Steam trawlers were introduced in the 1890s...

and Changed the Game

Read for yourself:

TH Huxley's Inaugural Speech - Clark University

The alternative perspective was provided in a statement by Edwin Ray Lankester: "It is a mistake to suppose that the place of fish removed on a particular fishing ground is immediately taken by some grand total of fish, which are so numerous in comparison with man's depredations as to make his operations in this respect insignificant," said Lankester. "If man removes a large proportion of these fish from the areas which they inhabit, the natural balance is upset."

1884-85 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Worst Flood in Kansas History/>100 die Quinn/Trager
1884 US Pacific Coast Soft shelled clam introduced Steamer clams provide for another industry Trager
1885 Eastern Seaboard Lobster landings peak at 130 million lbs New Jersey shores fouled by oil refineries Trager
1886-87 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Caviedes
1887 Newfoundland Norwegian Envoys Jens Dahl, Inspector of Salt Water Fisheries, and Adolph Nielsen Assistant Inspector of Fisheries from Sandefjord, visited newly formed Newfoundland Fisheries Commission, to discuss methods to combat declining fisheries landings. Discussed cod artificial propagation techniques developed by GO Sars from 1864, adopted by Captain Gunder Dannevig, founder of the Flødevigen hatchery at Arendal, Norway, in 1882, which produced its first cod yolk sac fry two years later.The Dildo Island cod hatchery was built in 1889, and despite sucesses, the facility was not funded in 1897.


Originally published in the Newfoundland Quarterly, vol. LXXXVII, no. 2 (Spring 1992), 25-32, 35

1888 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies SOI/Quinn
1889 Eastern Tropical Pacific USA ENSO cool event Remarkably mild winter Ice shortages stimulate development of lce Plants across Nation SOI/Trager #2
1889 Maine Lobster catch peaks 24 million pounds Trager
1889 Eastern USA Hudson shad fishery peaks Fishery begins a long-term decline Trager
1890 Alaska Now has 38 salmon canneries Italian/Scandanavian fish/Chinese cut/pack fish Trager
1890 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Caviedes
1891 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO warm event Wet Period Coatal Peru Caviedes
1893 Eastern Tropical Pacific/USA ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content SOI
1895 USA Massachusetts/211.5 lb cod caught Columbia River salmon peak pack/634,000 cases Trager
1896-97 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Indian wheat crop fails, famine results SOI/Trager #2/Caviedes
1897 Northeastern USA New Jersey/NewYork/ 1.2 million lbs Sturgeon Hudson River "Albany Beef" reduced by pollution Trager
1898 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Caviedes
1899-1900 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño 1st Colombia River salmon pack under BumbleBee label Quinn/Trager #2
1899 Northwestern US Columbia River Packers Association forms CRPA acquires ships/ for transport of building/canning material to Alaska Trager
1900 World Population=1.6 billion   Tanton
1900 British Isles westerly circulation increases Ocean production trend increases Lamb
1900 Washington state Fred.Weyerhauser purchases RR land NW Forestry Industry begins in earnest McDougall
1902 Copenhagen International Council for the Exploration of the Sea Created to stimulate cooperation in marine and fisheries science ICES
1901-02 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño China/Cold wet Period Quinn/Trager
1903 San Pedro, CA White albacore tuna first put into cans Canned tuna becomes a staple in American diet Trager
1903-04 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1904-05 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Albacore tuna packed in San Pedro California SOI/Quinn/Trager #2
1905 Korea Peninsula Japanese Remove Russia from Region End Russian "colonization" of Manchuria/Korea McDougall
1906 Swedish coast Bohuslan herring fails End of 19 year abundance period Lindquist
1907 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño See below Quinn
1907 Eastern Pacific Southern California First tuna packed by Halfhill in San Pedro Seasonal tropical tunas' migrations extended northward, and abundant albacore Trager #2
1908 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1910-11 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content SOI/Caviedes
1911-12 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño

Yangtze river Floods/100,000 die

Russia/China Drought/famine/millions affected

1911 Columbia River Salmon catch peaks at 49 million lbs This is never to be seen again Trager
1912 Alaska Libby, McNeill, Libby buy 14 canneries Libby label on salmon after 1959 sale/fleet/canneries Trager
1913-14 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Europe in Drought SOI/Trager#2
1914 Norway Johann Hjorth writes up early life history survival hypothesis After years of debate with GO Sars, Hjorth adopts the concept that understanding cod and other fishes survival at younger stages is critical. Climate/Fisheries References
1914 Sweden Otto Pettersson, oceanographer links Climate, Lunar Tides and Solar System dynamics to fisheries and human history His 1914 Monograph is adequate reason to defend observations that 900AD to1100AD open Arctic ocean allowed navigation that is unlikely today, hence the epoch was generally warmer than today's climate. See Ed Sander's website Climate/Fisheries References
1914 Europe World War I begins Local agriculture declines - famines follow/ coastal US fishing-canning industries flourish Trager
1914-15 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Van Camp Fish cannery begins developing California albacore fleet /converts American diet Quinn/Trager #2
1916 Florida Gulf Coast "Red Tide" bloom Kills millions of fish/ Gymnodinium breve toxin Trager
1916 California California Packing Incorporated $16 million underwrite/Wall Street/Del Monte/Calpak Trager
1917 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1917 San Pedro, CA French Sardine cannery opens Bogdanovich pioneers iceboats/Starkist Seafood Trager
1917 Russia Baranov defines the basis of fisheries population biology in mathematical terms for the 1st time Mathematics are introduced into descriptions of fisheries populations Baranov, F.I. 1918. On the question of the biological basis of fisheries. Izv. Nauchno.-Issled.Iktiol. Inst. 1:81-128. (in Russian).
1918-20 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Albacore in Point Loma kelp beds sparks San Diego Tuna fishery SOI/Quinn/Rose family records
1918 Eastern US Lobster catch hits low 33 million lbs/down from high 130 million lbs/1985 Trager
1918 Iceland Harbor seal dieoff Extreme cold/pnuemonia Bardson
1919 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies SOI
1922 San Pedro Deflation/Wartime market collapses Fish canning mergers/Van Camp Sea Food/White Star Trager
1923 Seattle International Pacific Halibut Commission Created to stimulate cooperation in halibut fishery management IPHC
1923 Japan First full descriptions of the comparative anatomy and biology of scombroid fishes This early study by Kishinouye begins the search for explanations for the many morphological distinctions amongst the tunas and mackerels - still ongoing Kishinyoue, K. 1923. Contributions to the comparative study of the so-called scombroid fishes. J. Coll. Agric. Tokyo Imp. Univ. 8:293-475
1923 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Greenland warming trend - 5C warmer1923-32 vs 1883-92 Quinn
1924 So. California Sardines up/albacore down - Van Camp's declares Bankruptcy/Receivership Trager
1924 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1924 San Pedro Van Camp closes down Sardine run sparks Van Camp recovery Trager
1925-1934 North Atlantic General warming trend begins West Greenland Sea fisheries emerged EllettBlindheim
1925-26 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Albacore fishery response - see Below SOI/Quinn/Trager #2/Caviedes
1925 So. California San Diego/San Pedro tuna pack peaks 95,000/358,940 cases each, mostly albacore Trager
1925 British Isles Westerly circulation peaks Ocean production/fishery increases Lamb
1926 So. California Albacore disappear from offshore Industry shifts to tropical tuna yellowfin "Chicken of the Sea" "Doesn't turn red in the can" - 65,823 cases packed/ "Fancy" yellowfin tuna promoted to replace both white albacore and salmon on nation's pantry shelves Trager #2
1927 World Population=2 billion   Population Clock
1927 Japan Professor Uda, describes the consequences of wind speed and direction on daily fishing sucesses  The world of fisheries science opens another door, through formalization of environmental monitoring in order to explain local daily fisheries performance Uda, M. 1927. Relation between the daily catch statistical studies in the influence of cyclone upon the fishing. J. Imper. Fish. Inst. 23(3):80-88.
1927 California Coast Sardines Bloom Frank Van Camp borrows money to restart canning line, for sardines/ Pays back loans/debts within year  Trager
1927-28 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content SOI/Caviedes
1929-31 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Long Drought Begins in Great Plains/Global Warming Peaks SOI/Quinn/COADS
1930 Alaska Last Square Rigger run to canneries Summer labor and supplies shipped via steamers Trager
1932 ENSO Warm Event/Florida Records/Proxies of El Niño Worst Red Tide since 1916 off Florida causes massive fish kills Quinn / Trager #2
1933 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1934-35 Western USA Dust storms/drought cripple farmers Chicken more expensive than beef/farms decline Trager
1935 UK - North Sea Graham defines the theory of what happens when a fishery population is exploited Modern Fisheries exploitation science is born, as a means of explaining consequences of fishing effort on natural populations Graham, G.M. 1935. Modern theory of exploiting a fishery and its implication to North Sea trawling. J Cons. 10:264-274.
1935 Monterey, CA Sardine landings peak Cental/Southern California sardine catch 760,000 tons CF&G
1937 NW USA Bonneville dam opened Salmon runs impeded by Power Dams Trager
1937-38 USA Major flooding in SE USA Congress - Flood Control Act/public work/rivers/harbors Trager
1937-39 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content/ US Congress Passes Flood Control Act


1938 Columbia River Fish ladders implemented Salmon runs lost to electrical power generation Trager
1938 Oregon Albacore are discovered off coast Salmon fishermen turn to tuna/Bumble Bee/Astoria Trager


World War II begins

Spreads to Asian Pacific

1939 New York, NY Fulton Fish Market opens Fishmongers handled 250 million lbs first year Trager
1939 UK - North Sea Graham introduces the asymptotic curve estimation phenomenon into modeling fisheries The modeled consequences of fishing at both high and low fish population densities with varying effort is described Graham, G.M. 1939. The sigmoid curve and the overfishing problem. Rapp. P.-v. Réun. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer. 110(2):15-20.
1939-1941 Pacific wide Major ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies Quinn
1940 British Isles westerly circulation declines Ocean production decreases Lamb
1941 Pearl Harbor Japanese attack/WWII in Pacific Unites Pacific State against Japanese expansion McDougall
1941 Monterey, CA Sardine catches decline, collapse Wartime market increase demand/fleet capacity huge Sharp
1943-44 ENSO Warm Event


Records/Proxies of El Niño

Drought/Famine/China/ Millions Starve Quinn/Nash
1945 Alaska Wakefield Deep Sea Trawlers/king crab Develop freezing/processing to handle quantities of crab Trager
1945 North Pacific CRPA executive visits Japan Japan contracted/deliver albacore to US packers Trager
1945 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1945 World War II ends Rebuilding begins UNDP and other AID agencies emerge Trager
1946 West Coast Florida Worst Red Tide bloom ever Stimulates Fisheries Service to investigate Gymnodinium breves Trager
1946 Philadelphia Mrs. Paul's Kitchen frozen seafood Frozen Deviled Crabs meet consumer needs Trager
1947 Canada Fred Fry's work initializes a series of lab studies that compare arrays of fish and other aquatic species. The birth of ecologically transferable laboratory studies, Physiological Ecology and Limnology are converged. Fry, F.E.J. 1947. Effects of environment on animal activity. Pub. Ontario Fish. Res. Lab. No.68 U. Toronto Studies, Biol. Ser. 55:1-52.
1947 Harvard Information on age-specific mortality used to lay out mortality expectations by age groups of populations No longer accepted that Mortality is Constant in population models Deevey, E.S. 1947. Life tables for natural populations of animals. Quart. Rev. Biol. 22:283-314.
1947-51 Korea US refuses troop removal from Korea Anti-Communist Truman Doctrine/Japan rebuilt McDougall
1948 Maine Restocking effort for Maine rivers Atlantic Sea Run Commission remove dams Trager
1949 NW Atlantic International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Atlantic Commission formed to address management ICNAF
1950 World Population=2.4 billion   Tanton
1950 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1950 North Atlantic Total Landings regain prewar levels European fisheries"recovery" stimulates management Beverton/Holt
1950 Eastern Pacific Ocean Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission created by convention USA & Costa Rica 1st signatures IATTC
1950 Peru Guano/anchoveta fishing debate Guano industry transition/anchoveta boom Trager/Glantz
Early 1950s Monterey, CA Canneries dismantled and moved or sold to Peru Fishing declines, focuses on salmon/squid/rockfish Local history
1950 So. California Some vessels/canneries from Monterey relocate Fisheries for anchovy/mackerel/ seasonal tuna developed CF&G
1951-52 ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño

Asian Monsoon fails/drought/

Australia drought begins/livestock die

Famine/Kansas-Missouri floods/200,000 homeless

1952 Chile/Peru/Ecuador Declaration of Santiago Extends jurisdiction to 200 miles vs US 12 mi/3 mi others Trager
1953 Minor ENSO Warm Event Records/Proxies of El Niño Ý Quinn
1955 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1955 Gloucester Gorton's new freezer facility opens 200 year old firm produces frozen fish products Trager
1955 Antarctica Crabeater seal dieoff Huge population/mild climate/virus Laws&Taylor
1957-58 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies Quinn
1958 Iceland Extends fishing limits to 12 miles Starts conflicts with British fishing fleet Trager
1958 Global Blue whale kill 6,908 beginning end of whaling activities
1960 US Coastal Large Soviet fleet moves into coast Herring/haddock fisheries decimated by foreign fleets Trager
1960 Global Fish cath reaches 40 million tons This is twice the catch of 1950 Trager
1960 Mississippi Pollution kills millions of fish Low oxygen levels due to eutrophication Trager
1961 World Population=3 billion   Population Clock
1960-61 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1961 Iceland Settle fishing dispute with Britain Fishing rights over North Atlantic/Cod Wars continue Trager
1964 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1965-66 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies Quinn
1965-66 West Africa Trade winds decline/NAO shifts Coastal fishing declines /Sahel rainfall declines Freon/Wm Gray
1965 North Sea Peak herring catch Catch begins precipitous decline/overfished too Glantz
1965-67 Gulf of Alaska Halibut biomass lowest Recruitment f(wind speed/dir/surf currents) Parker
1965 USA Washington enacts 5y/$25 million Restocking Program Anadromous fish conservation effort Trager
1965 Arkansas Catfish farming takes off Farmers raise fish to supplement field crop incomes Trager
1966 USA Endangered Species Protection Act Precedent setting legislation/global protection Congress
1966 -69 USA Stratton Commission RoundtableDiscussions Begin - Resulting in the Report "Our Nation and The Sea - the final report of the Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources,

The Stratton Commission was able to argue persuasively in 1969 that it spoke at a "time for decision."

Harry N. Scheiber's Historical Review

1966 Alaska King crab fishery peaks Central fishing area begins decline Trager
1966 Global Food crisis Production drops /Africa/Lat.America/FarEast Trager
1967-68 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1967 USA Fishermen's Protective Act passed Reimburses fishermen's fines/losses due to seizures Congress
1968-69 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Eastern Pacific warming trend begins Sharp/McLain
1968 USA 58% of US fish imported US Dept Interior/15 million fish killed/pollution Trager
1969 Wisconsin Lake/Stream DDT concentration 20ppm Fish measured to contain <1 ppm DDT - controversy Trager
1969 Atlantic Ocean - Mediterranean International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas Member nations commit support/Data ICCAT
1969 North Atlantic & North Sea David Cushing formulates the 'Match - Mismatch' Theory of early life history success for sea fishes that links spawning and spring bloom timing. Implicit in this Theory is that variability in timing of plankton production leads to variability in larval mortality and hence possibly year class strength. If year class strength is measured as abundanceof adult fish, it will of course be a function of the sum of the mortalities experienced during the
different pre–recruit periods.
The literature here is somewhat conflicting.

Hans Chr. Eilertsen,

The Cushing Match-Mismatch hypothesis: can
it be verified or should it be re-phrased?

1970 Egypt Aswan Dam completed Seasonal flood cycle stops/ coastal sardines all but disappear Trager
1970-71 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain
1970 West Greenland Cod catches begin rising Fishery recruitment declines after 20 yrs Sharp/McLain
1971 Peru Anchoveta fish catch peaks Anchoveta fleet/over-capitalization Prager
1972-73 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies Sharp/McLain
1972 Peru Anchoveta fishery "collapses" after decline in recruitment/overfishing since 1968 / Many Blame El Niño Remaining resource crowded into small area by El Niño/CPUE stable/then zero Csirke
1972 USA Marine Mammal Protection Act Precedence setting legislation/global protection Congress
1972-76 Chile/Peru Coastal upwelling dependent /Predator species vanish Giant squid, sierra, other species disappear Sharp/McLain
1973 USA Endangered Species Act Precedence setting legislation/global protection Congress
1973 Baja California Peruvian fleet sold/Ensenada Emergent Mexican wetfish fishery invests Sharp/McLain
1974-75 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain/Caviedes
1975 World Population=4 billion   Population Clock
1975 EastPacific Climate/ocean forces US tuna Fleet move Yellowfin/Bigeye tuna plentiful SW of CYRA Sharp/IATTC
1975 Gulf of California Sardines bloom Mexican fishery emerges Sharp/McLain
1974-75 Chile/Peru Sardine onshore, colonize N&S Production center moves to No. Chile from Pisco coast Sharp/McLain
1975 North Atlantic Sea Surface temperature minimum 22 year trend reverses

Southward, A.J. 1974a. Changes in the plankton community in the western English Channel. Nature, 259:5433.

_____________1974b. Long term changes in abundance of eggs in the Cornish pilchard (Sardina pilchardus Walbaum) off Plymouth. J. Mar. Biol. Assn. UK NS 47:81-95.


1976-77 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies Sharp/McLain
1976 Northeast Pacific Atmospheric patterns shift Many climate/ecosystem shifts in response Ebbesmeyer&
1976 USA 200 Mile exclusive fishing rights declared Magnuson Fisheries Conservation Management Act Trager
1976 La Jolla - USA John Isaacs, Professor of Geology at Scripps Inst. of Oceanography delivers a diatribe about the assumptions employed by fisheries science at CalCOFI meeting Isaacs peels back the thin veil of many of the basic assumptions employed in fisheries to point out that equilibrium in Nature is unlikely, and that linear equations make no sense in such a world... fish populations vary - with or without fisheries

Isaacs, J.D. 1976. Some ideas and frustrations about fishery science. CalCOFI Rep. XVIII:34-43.

Soutar, A. and J.D. Isaacs. 1974. Abundance of pelagic fish during the 19th and 20th centuries as recorded in anaerobic sediments of the Californias. Fish. Bull., US, 72:257-273.

1976 Iceland 200 Mile exclusive fishing rights declared Diplomatic relations with England broken off, over cod Trager
1976 Northwest Pacific Sardines recolonize Sea of Japan/Pacific Ocean Emergent cheap protein resource=>Seriola culture Kondo
1976 Peru/Chile Sardine recolonize coast/northern Chile to central Chile Sardine fisheries from Tumuco to Talcahuano seeded Sharp/McLain
1976 SW Pacific US Purse seiners enter New Zealand EEZ SW Pacific subtropical transition:skipjack/yellowfin Sharp/MAFF/NZ
1977 Pacific basin Low SOI/ little evidence of El Niño/Regime Shift Patterns of species distributions/abundances shift in response to warming COADS/Ebbesmeyer
1977 US/Soviet 200 Mile EEZ agreed Agreement matches the Declaration of Santiago - 1952 Trager
1978 Alaska Walrus dieoff Large population/no known disease Fay&Kelly
1979 California Sardines reappear/40 year absence Sardine emerges from refuge in Gulf of California Sharp/Mclian
1979 North Sea Herring catches at low Populations return/recolonize old grounds ICES
1979-80 New England Harbor seal dieoff Warm/large population/virus Geraci et al.
1980 North Sea Zoo./Phytoplankton mimimum 35 year trend reverses/warming begins Colebrook
1980 Western Alaska King crab fishery peaks Precipitous decline begins in 1981 Glantz
1980 Eastern Tropical Pacific IOC/SCOR hold workshop to define El Niño - IMARPE Lima, Peru After several days of the meeting - chaired by Richard Barber, the 'definition' was defined as "a 2C SST rise off Callao, Peru" - 
Barber, et al.
Sharp 1981a
1980 Eastern Pacific -
Lima, Peru
IOC - Workshop on Effects of Environmental Variation on the Survival of Larval Pelagic Fishes International Convergence to describe and discuss the emergent knowledge re the relationships between survival and the many continuously varying environmental processes  Sharp 1981a/1981b
1981 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp/McLain
1982-1994 Global Ocean Red Tides/algal blooms Trend/more frequent widespread occurences Epstein
1982-83 Chile/Peru Tropical species Outbursts Tropical clams/scallops/ fishes bloom locally Arntz/IFOP
1983-86 British Isles Westerly circulation returns Ocean production increases Colebrook
1982-83 Pacific-wide/Global Great El Niño floods/droughts Apex of eastern Pacific warming since 1968 Sharp/McLain
1983 San Jose, Costa Rica Expert Consultation to Examine the Changes in Abundance and Species Composition of Neritic Fish Resources - World Bank/FAO -
Stimulated the 1984 First World Conference on fisheries management -
Report - summary in 102pp

Proceedings - 1294pp
Csirke, J. and G.D. Sharp, eds. 1984 -

Sharp, G.D. and J, Csirke, eds. 1984
1984-85 Eastern Pacific Tropical tuna catches peak Due to shoaling of habitat after 25 yr warm trend G.D. Sharp
1984 Global Oceans UN FAO Holds the First World Conference on Improvement and Management of the Fisheries at FAO H.Q. Major concentration of Expertise from around the Globe to present opinions on Solutions to the Ongoing Over-Investment in Fisheries  Development Gulland & Caddy, Sharp and Csirke, 
1983-84 Pacific wide Upper ocean heat loss Reversal east Pacific heating trend / Eastern Tropical Tuna Catches rise "Sharply" after 25 year warm trend SOI/G.D. Sharp
1984 Caribbean Coral Bleaching/Disease recognized foloowing Cold Winter/Florida Symptoms described 1st time/ Global trend? J. Ogden et al./G.D. Sharp
1984-85 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content G.D. Sharp/Caviedes
1986 Chile/Peru Coastal upwelling pulses Sardine begins decline /local anchoveta outbursts G.D. Sharp
1986-87 Pacific wide ENSO warm event Substantial records of climate anomalies G.D. Sharp
1987 North Sea/NE USA Seals/ other marine mammal die off Associated with warm event/toxins/diseases Epstein
1986 Global Ocean Ecosystems John Caddy and G. D. Sharp - collaboration:  the 1st Handbook -  An Ecological Framework for Marine Fishery Investigations Subjects range from deepwater bottom fishes, coastal pelagics to high seas mobile predator species - and what is necessary to track, and manage these interactive resources Caddy, J.F. and G.D. Sharp. 1986 
1987 Texas Laguna Madre Shrimp Farm/400000 lbs Shrimp trawlers depleting wild shrimp/turtles NMFS
1986-87 North Carolina Gymnodinium breve bloom Toxic/irritation-causing coastal emergence Tester
1987-88 Lake Baikal Baikal seal dieoff Virus Dietz et al.
1988-89 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Upper ocean low heat content Sharp and McLain/Caviedes
1988 USA First National/Regional Fisheries Ecosystem Management Plans Developed Blueprint/PDP developed by NMFS under contract submitted to Congress - Regional Management Councils ignore Plans, Business as Usual WE Evans,W Powell, directed: policy plan was drawn up and coordinated by GD Sharp, John Everrett, Churchill Grimes
1988 Kattegat-Skagerrak Pinneped die off Growing population/mild weather/virus Dietz et al.
1989 World Population=5 billion   Population Clock
1989 Japan/Chile Peak Sardine catches Sardinops in collapse/anchoveta rising G.D. Sharp
1990 North Sea Herring begin bloom phase Spawning strong Scotch /North Sea banks G.D. Sharp
1990 Maine Lobster catches peak 28 million pounds/high since 1889 Trager
1990 Gulf of Alaska Halibut/salmon biomass up Decadal trends reversing/rare vs abundance G.D. Sharp
1990 Maine 28 million lbs lobster trapped Tops previous record of 24 million pounds in 1889 Trager/NMFS
1990 Chile-westward Jack mackerel blooms Begin Coastal/westward expansion /Tasman Sea Serra
1990-94 Western Pacific Tropical tuna fishing flourishes Local Shoaling due to Kelvin waves G.D. Sharp
1990-94 Northwest Atlantic Cod fails/herring bloom Bottom temps Cold /SubsidizedOverCapacity /Lower trophic level species bloom G.D. Sharp
1991 Eastern Canada Moratorium on cod fishing Over-built subsidized fleet decimated mismanaged cods/ DFO fiasco Finlayson/Others
1991-94 Pacific wide Several ENSO warm events Substantial records of climate anomalies G.D. Sharp
1991-95 Japan/Sea of Japan Sardine dwindling/Herring on rise Sardine western Coastal/herring begin westward expansion /Japan Sea USSR/Japan Reports
1991 Chile/Peru Coastal species reappear Giant squid, sierra and sprat recolonize coast Serra/G.D. Sharp
1991 So. California Bluefin return to region Sport fishery rekindled G.D. Sharp
1991 Pacific-wide Begin 4 yr ENSO warm event Many warm ocean species appear G.D. Sharp
1991 North Carolina Pfeisteria piscida toxic blooms Active/Delaware/Florida/Gulf of Mexico Epstein
1992 NE USA Coast Fleets restricted from groundfish/cod Cod collapse reaches Georges Bank/nearshore NMFS
1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development,Rio de Janiero Agenda 21 & Other UNCED Agreements Protection Of The Oceans, All Kinds Of Seas, Including Enclosed And Semi-enclosed Seas, And Coastal Areas And The Protection, Rational Use And Development Of Their Living Resources UN
1992 Sydney, British Columbia North Pacific Marine Science Organization Created to stimulate cooperation in marine and fisheries science PICES
1992 Pacific-wide Cont. 4 yr ENSO warm event Australia Drought G.D. Sharp
1992 Central California Warm coastal species colonize Mackerel/baracuda/mammals appear G.D. Sharp
1992 Global SOI/LgthDay/Seismic relation Atmospheric Moisture/angular moment/LOD/seismic events Michael Chinnery EOS
1992 Global Moratorium of Driftnet Fishing Effort to Minimize wasteful ByCatch Dominated Fishery UN General Assembly
1993 Pacific-wide Cont. 4 yr ENSO warm event Australia drought continues G.D. Sharp
1993 Central California coast Algal blooms/Domoic acid Sea bird and mammal kills Epstein
1994 Pacific-wide 4 yr ENSO warm event cont's Australia Drought continues/wild fires G.D. Sharp
1994 Boston Flotilla of fishermen protest rules Protection of bottom fishes/Too little-Too late/Collapsed Trager
1994 Ecuador coast Strong Local Upwelling Coldest coastal SST for decades G.D. Sharp
1994 Baltic Algal overgrowth Warm temperature 73F stimulates blooms Epstein
1994 Georges Bank/NE USA Commercial Fishing Stopped

Resources overexploited/improper Management

Cod Stories Vs Cod Wallop

G.D. Sharp


Early 1995 Pacific Basin ENSO Warm event Kelvin wave/Peru January '95 G.D. Sharp
1995 North Atlantic Canada seizes Spanish trawler Conservation enforcement measure beyond EEZ Trager
Mid 1995 Global Ocean ENSO Cool Event begins Typhoons/Hurricanes Plague Islands/coasts Wm Gray
1995 Southern Australia Coastal Upwelling/Algal blooms Pelagic fish dieoffs/anoxia/alga densities


1995 Kattegat/Skagerak Mild Winter/Virus Pinneped die-off


1995 FAO/UN Code of Conduct/Precautionary Principle Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High SeasManagement Objectives /Monitoring Needs clarified Caddy/Griffiths
1995 FAO/UN KYOTO DECLARATION AND PLAN OF ACTION ON THE SUSTAINABLE CONTRIBUTION OF FISHERIES TO FOOD SECURITY Agreement of 4 December 1995 for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly MigratoryFish Stocks Multiple Authors
Late 1996-early 1997 Global Ocean ENSO Cool Event ends+ QBO +African Rainfall Forecast Hurricanes Islands/Atlantic coasts Wm Gray
October1996 California offshore Warming begins off No. America Fisheries perturbed: rockfish submerge/ tropical- subtropicals shift northward/ Big Whales/Pinnipeds in Bays


1996 USA Reauthorization Magnuson-Stevens FMCA Re-write long overdue/Burden of Proof revision NMFS/Congress
1997 Western No.&So. America Coasts Ocean Warming anomalies reach 3-4C Fisheries perturbed as tropical- subtropicals are shifted poleward


National Data Bouy Center Forecasts

March 1997 Western and Equatorial Pacific SOI dropped rapidly???

Kelvin Wave released (6 months early) extreme warming begins off So. America

Peruvians/Chileans Negotiate anchoveta fishery Moratorium

Fisheries perturbed as tropical- subtropicals are shifted /Chilean sardine catch >.75 M tonnes in one week/

Drought in Australia/Indonesia/ SE Asian monsoon delayed

GD Sharp/

Remember this: 0.76 M Tons was California Peak Catch/Yr in 1936

1997 FAO/UN Kyoto - Global Warming CO2 babble gets deep - decisions delayed Ý
1998 Global Fisheries Conservation interests Promote Marine Preserves/Protected Areas Ý

Eastern Central Pacific

Peru Threw a Party and Noone Came

Fisheries Minister ends 'Veda', sets Quota of 600K tons for anchoveta -

Coastal Ocean Chaos, north still too warm, upwelling just restarting to south
Peru 5/11/98 -

Fleet searches for anchoveta schools in North Peru coastal region. Find nothing. Fishery Closed again for a few weeks.

- It Ain't Over -




Floods, and Typhoons

A series of floods, Typhoons and associated drownings and displacements of thousands.


1998 Arctic Ocean margins High Temperatures (as last Summer) reach normal +5C  Marine mammals and fishery reources will continue to dwindle as their metabolisms and food supply are stressed Ocean Maps
1998 Eastern Pacific  Coastal Upwelling  At last, by mid August there is general upwelling along western South America coastline, Chile to Peru, primary production up Satellite/FNMOC OTIS model
1998 VNIRO Moscow Leonid B. Klyashtorin Collates Earth Rotation Velocity Index with Pacific and Atlantic's Major Fisheries Earth rotation rate (atmospheric moisture, etc.) is filtered to take out solar cycles, and is found to be coherent with 50-70 year patterns of fisheries population Blooms/Busts. L.B. Klyashtorin, 1998. Fisheries Research, 37:115-125
1998 Western Pacific Philippine yellowfin tuna fishery declines, Japanese industry blocks imports of new smoked tuna products Warm/Wet events associated with a spreading out of tropical tunas, draws Philippino fishermen into Indonesian EEZ, to be jailed, beaten, or captured by Pirates for ransom, etc. Search google.com for key words: Tunatown, Mindanao, tuna
1999 World Population=6 billion Sept/Oct 1999 estimated  Population Clock
1999 Eastern Seaboard, USA Several Laden Clam Dredge Boats sink in heavy weather Three vessels in one week, five for this season cause reflection on policies and safety of small fishing vessels in ITQ fisheries. News/ US Coast Guard
1999 USA Debate of Revision of M-S FCMA Reversal of Onus/Monitoring/Fees /Regionalization big items/Review Tools NAS/NRC
1999 Eastern Tropical Pacific ENSO cool event Coastal Peru Dry/cold Caviedes
1999 Hawaii Longline Fishery under mandate to stop shark finning, no turtle bycatch allowed. Major reversal of policies, and little debate from fleet, as some move to Baja California based fishing activities Endreson/Hester
1999 Chile-Tasman Sea Jack Mackerel Fishery In Collapse Over-built subsidized fleet decimated unmanaged jack mackerel fishery Serra/IFOP
1999 California-Vancouver Sardine is declared "recovered" /Actually recovered in late 1980s over southern range, and eventually recolonized previous northern range - post bloom period. Combination of "moratorium" and Cyclical Climate Processes CF&G/Sharp
1999 North Pacific/Bering Sea Major Upper Ocean Heat Loss/Alongshore upwelling Ecological Prdouction up, Salmon grow fatter/ greater returns south of Washington State/ many run failures to North FNMOC/Fishermen
August 1999 Indian Ocean UN Law of the Sea Tribunal Injunction against Japan, fishing for southern bluefin tuna in Indian Ocean, and Southern Pacific Australia and New Zealand file request for injunction at International Tribunal: Japan's efforts to initiate "experimental fishing" on severely depleted southern bluefin tuna resource thwarted. (text of Injunction) UN Oceans and Law of the Sea: Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea
1999 Baja to Central California Pacific Bluefin juveniles converge on sardines for feast for 1st time off Monterey bay in over 25 years Late Summer/Fall run up along California coast causes convergence of seiners and sport boats to take advantage of feeding schools of bluefin and albacore/Some seined fish are penned and transported to No. Baja site for growout G.D. Sharp
2000 USA Fisheries Ecosystem Management Plan to Congress, again Reversal of Onus/Monitoring/ Regionalization and Habitat Issues Fluharty Panel Report
2000 North Pacific/Bering Sea Storms/PDO shift Numerous losses of ships at sea References
2000 Central Pacific Protection of Sea Turtles implemented by US PMFMC US Longline Fleet changing grounds again NGOs
2000 North Pacific, Multi-PI Multi-species archival tagging effort Census of Marine Life - Tagging of Pelagic Predators Program (TOPP) workshop implemented to bring together for the first time fish, mammal, and bird tagging expertise - led by Barbara Block - to plan a massive effort to learn from individual species how they use the oceans. Final Report available, and future workshops planned to address technology, appropriate species, and develop protocols for data delivery and quality control for entry into Global Ocean Data Sets. PEW, Sloan and Packard Foundations
Date Location Event Societal/Ecological Consequence References

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