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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fish Bulletin No. 112. Relationships of Some Marine Organisms of the Northeast Pacific to Water Temperatures Particularly During 1957 Through 1959


It is generally known that the waters off our coast warmed up in 1957. It is also common knowledge that for many species, fishing improved dramatically at the same time. In fact, there has become a general awareness that ocean climate can strongly affect fishing — a concept not too prevalent prior to 1957. During the preceding decade there was a strong feeling that "overfishing" alone was responsible for any decline in fishing success for a given species.

Careful consideration of the problem reveals all factors are pertinent; some may dominate for a period becoming secondary or tertiary later. An important parameter may be completely masked by interplay of one or more others so that a researcher may be unable to find the relationship for which he is searching. It is obvious that no single phenomenon can explain all the variations observed in a fishery.

This paper attempts to explore a single oceanic feature, temperature, and its effect on some marine organisms. I have not intended to imply that temperature is the most important factor governing fish distribution (although it might be for some species during some years) or that water temperature was the controlling factor in the correlations which follow (although it may have been).

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