A second post from friends at the Sailing for Climate Blog…
The Pernicious Effects of Warm Water
by Jess on November 25, 2015
Climate Change, Coasts and Oceans, Mexico, Research, Sailing, Travel
“At night, it looked like another city,” Isabel tells me as she gestures out her office window toward the sea. “There were hundreds of lights. But now, what do you see?” she asks me.
“Nada,” I reply.
Isabel Soto Gonzalez runs the daily operations at the marina in Santa Rosalía. She tells me that the harbor (where we are docked to diagnose our faulty batteries) used to be full of calamareros, squid fishermen. This floating city of light just outside of the harbor pulled in thousands of pounds of Humboldt squid every night. This mysterious six-foot-long predator is known for its massive size and an ability to rapidly change color from white to red. It has a beak so sharp it can cleanly shear a finger off a careless fisherman.
To catch squid, boats ply the nighttime waters with bright halogen bulbs directed on the water’s surface. This attracts plankton and little fish, which in turn lures the night-feeding squid. These days, panga fishing boats zip in and out of the inner harbor, or dársena, but mostly during daylight hours. The fishery for the giant squid supported hundreds of boats and over a thousand people—until the squid disappeared in the winter of 2009 and never returned.
“Too many fishermen?” I ask. Hundreds of boats in one area sounds like too much pressure on one species.
“I’m not sure. The squid supported all those boats for years. Then they just disappeared so fast.”
read the rest of this post over on the Sailing for Climate Blog-
About Sailing for Climate
Adventures in climate research by wind and water
In a 39-foot sailboat, Jess and Josh travel to remote and rural communities throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, to study adaptation to (climate) change through the lens of both science and story.
By traveling under sail, they connect with the natural cycles of the sea and gain access to remote areas.
They share the coastal challenge of living by the whims of the water and are subject to the same conditions as the people who rely on the ocean for sustenance, both physical and spiritual.
Learn more about their Mission, Route & Sailboat…