You've probably heard about the alarming mass die-off of Cassin's Auklets on the west coast these past few months. Over 100,000 birds, mostly young of year, have starved to death due to a lack of krill and copepods that is their primary prey. This unusual and worrisome large scale event highlights the need to protect the ocean food web as the climate changes on our west coast. Right now, you can make a difference for seabirds by sending a letter to federal fisheries managers encouraging them to protect dozens of species of forage fish and squids that comprise the ocean food web.
At the moment, commercial vessels can begin fishing for these species at any time. Though they are not currently being targeted in our west coast waters, some of these fish and squid have been fished in the past or are fished in other areas. Globally, fisheries pressure on forage fish is increasing, which has hurt populations of seabirds and other marine wildlife. Audubon California is working closely with chapters and with partners including the Pew Trusts on the front lines of forage fish policy reform, and we need your voices now for an important decision to take place in March where managers will vote on protecting these key fish. Please follow this link to send your letter today.
(Photo of Cassin's Auklet by Blake Matheson)