SACRAMENTO (AP) — Federal fishery managers voted Monday to keep the U.S. West Coast Pacific sardine fishery closed for the upcoming commercial season.

This will be the third year in a row there have not been enough sardines to support a fishery.

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Sardines were a thriving fishery on the West Coast from World War I through World War II. But their numbers, and the fishery, crashed in the late 1940s.

The conservation group Oceana lauded the decision.

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Oceana officials say leaving more sardines in the water before fishing is allowed to occur will help ensure there is enough of the critical food for wildlife while allowing the sardine population to rebuild more quickly.

Much of the catch, landed from Mexico to British Columbia, is exported to Asia and Europe, where some is canned and the rest goes for bait.

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