‘Blob’ gone but not forgotten by scientists studying decline in fish stocks

Times Colonist –

The “blob” is gone, but it’s left a troubling legacy on B.C.’s Pacific coast.

The blob is the popular name for a huge patch of warm water that featured record temperatures — in some cases, three to four degrees Celsius above normal — in the Northeast Pacific starting in 2013 and running through late 2015 and early 2016.

Scientists are now concerned that young fish feeding at sea during the blob’s presence did not have enough nutritious food to eat — and that could translate into reduced adult fish to harvest going forward.

“We’re in a transition,” Ian Perry, senior federal scientist at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, said in an interview. “Although the blob is gone, the effects of the blob, particularly on the longer-lived fish species, are still being felt and … are only just now becoming apparent. The impacts it had on fish that went to sea or were just hatching … don’t start to appear in the fishery until now.”

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