The Port of San Diego is reporting two comforting bits of news about San Diego Bay. First, the San Diego Oceans Foundation at the end of May released another 30,000 young white sea bass into the netted pens provided by the Port near the Grape Street Pier at the corner of Hawthorn and North Harbor Drive downtown. Overfishing and habitat destruction began to take a toll on the white sea bass population more than 50 years ago; eventually it reached a critically low number. But in the late 1990s, the Foundation began raising and releasing the fish.
The process begins at the Hubbs Sea World Research Institute’s marine fish hatchery in Carlsbad. Then the baby fish are transferred to the Port’s pens. When they reach 12 inches long, they’re released into open waters locally. The Port says rising catch rates by fishermen indicate these efforts are working, and the species is rebounding.
The other bit of jolly environmental news was that U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologists on May 26 counted more than 20,000 birds during a bird survey at the South Bay Salt Works in Chula Vista. These included endangered California Least Terns and Gull-Bill Terns, along with Elegant Terns, Blackneck Stilts, Double-Crested Cormorants, and Royal Terns.
The bay’s waters are still hardly pristine. But given the grim news in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s pleasant to hear some good environmental news in our part of the coast.