Essay on A Study Of The Post 1945 California Sardine Depletion

Essay on A Study Of The Post 1945 California Sardine Depletion

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In Arthur McEvoy and Harry Schreiber’s article “A Study of the Post-1945 California Sardine Depletion”, they talk about the disastrous results that occurred due to excessive sardine fishing along California’s coast. Sardine fishery in California was carelessly unregulated due to the major profit it was acquiring during the mid-1930s when the fishery was at its peak. The authors state that, “It supplied at the time fully one fourth the entre tonnage of fish landed in the United States” (McEvoy 393). Not only canned goods were being supplied by California’s fishery but also provided materials for industrial uses both nationwide and international. During World War I is when the fishery for sardines grew exponentially. Modern inventions made it possible to yield higher numbers of sardines out of places such as San Pedro and Monterey California. A study shows that “Yields rose at a staggering rate, from less than 30,000 tons landed in California in the 1916-1917 season to their historical peak of more than 720,000 tons in 1936-1937” (McEvoy 395). It was only after World War II and the depression that the sardine industry took a major hit.
Due to the lack of control in coastal waters, fishery depletion began being worrisome to scientists. The continuous fishing throughout many years did not allow the fish to repopulate themselves which lead to further crisis. Stock became precarious over the following years, “Yields began to drop again in 1951-1952, when the California harvest was under 130,000 tons” (McEvoy 395). Subtle efforts of conservation and high hopes of a good season came with no avail. As predicted by the Fish and Game Commission, which was a state agency established for the preservation of fish in California, said that unre...


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McEvoy and Schieber’s paper on the study of sardines is a helpful paper to read in order to understand the background information of the book Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. The book takes place in Monterey California where fishing and canning sardines was the backbone of the towns industry. The paper on sardine depletion and talks about how important the canning industry was in coastal California and how it brought great profit for quite some time. The novel Cannery Row is set during the Great Depression and describes a town and how each individual is faces their own hardships due to their economy collapsing. The article provides information on to why sardine fishery was important and how it came to a sudden halt. Using the information from both readings can help form a better picture of the era and how difficult it was to live during the Great Depression.

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