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Francesca Koe’s Blog

Yesterday's Ocean

Francesca Koe

Posted August 16, 2013 in Reviving the World's Oceans

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Have you ever wondered what the seas off our shores looked like 100 years ago? Join underwater photographer Marc Shargel and find out in Yesterday’s Ocean: A History of Marine Life on California’s Central CoastMarc's latest book of photography takes the viewer on a historical tour of the golden state's central coast -- including the "boom and bust" relationship with ocean fisheries over the past three centuries.  

As fishermen in Monterey eventually found out, the ocean was not without its limits: after short, intense periods of exploitation, stocks of otters, abalone and sardines became much harder to find. As one species was depleted, another was targeted. This boom and bust pattern came to characterize many of the central coast’s fisheries – eventually leading to the stunning crash of the sardine fishery in the late 1940s. 

Watch the video podcast below (from Thank You Ocean) and journey back to see just how amazingly abundant our coasts once were. An important reminder that smart ocean policies (such as the Marine Life Protection Act) are needed to conserve the many special spots along California's coastline -- and the wonderful marinelife that inhabit them. I invite you to check out the slideshow too.

 

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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