Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 06 Issue 01

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Volume 06, No. 1
Pages 13 - 22


Fisheries, El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Upper Ocean Temperature Records: An Eastern Pacific Example

By Gary D. Sharp  and Douglas R. McLain 
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It is often recounted that the collapse of the Peruvian anchoveta fishery in the early 1970s was a direct consequence of the El Niño of 1972–73. Comparison of time series of upper-ocean thermal data, fishery catch records, and ichthyoplankton samples from the Peruvian and northern Chilean coasts suggest that the anchoveta collapse started as early as 1968 as part of long-term ocean and atmosphere processes. These resulted in a general coastal ocean warming due to decreased upwelling of cold water along the eastern central Pacific coast, and consequent ecological changes. The ensuing 15 year coastal warming epoch culminated in the 1982–83 E1 Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) warm event.


Sharp, G.D., and D.R. McLain. 1993. Fisheries, El Niño-Southern Oscillation and upper ocean temperature records: An eastern Pacific example. Oceanography 6(1):13–22, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.1993.18.

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