Worldwide Large-scale Fluctuations of Sardine and Anchovy Populations

Co-chair: Daniel Lluch-Belda (Mexico) and Robert J.M. Crawford (South Africa)

Other Full Members: W.J. Fletcher (Australia), E. Hagen (Germany), T. Kawasaki (Japan), Y. Matsuura (Brazil), R.H. Parrish (USA), R. Serra (Chile), K.V. Shust (Russia), and J. Zuzunaga (Peru)

Associate Members: T. Baumgartner (Mexico), A.D. MacCall (USA), R.A. Schwartzlose (USA), and L.V. Shannon (South Africa)

Terms of Reference

  • Correlate historical information from the five regions of the world where S. sagax has been fished (Japan, west coast of North America, west coast of South America, west coast of southern Africa, Australasia) that is pertinent to understanding the large ecosystem changes that have occurred in these regions. This includes catch records, abundance estimates, varved sediment records and other historical information such as records of guano harvests. It also includes various worldwide or large-scale atmospheric, physical oceanographic, planktonic and other biological data.
  • Use historical information to evaluate the sequence of events occurring at times of major change, to develop hypotheses regarding causes of the large changes (of sardine and anchovy populations and other abundant resources with which they are associated) in each region, to identify mechanisms that may sustain large shifts in abundance over long periods, and to examine evidence for a worldwide cause of the major fluctuations.
  • Prepare a report to SCOR on what appears to cause the worldwide, large-scale fluctuations of sardine and anchovy populations and their environment that require further study.

Approved: 1992

Financial Sponsors: SCOR, IOC


  • Schwartzlose RA, Alheit J, Bakun A, et al. 1999. Worldwide large-scale fluctuations of sardine and anchovy populations, South African Journal of Marine Science 21:289-347.