Little Fish Are a Big Deal
Oregon sets protections for unmanaged forage fish
Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission recently took action to protect and conserve several otherwise unregulated species of forage fish—a key component of the vibrant ocean food web that allows marine life to thrive off the Oregon coast. The commission unanimously adopted a plan that safeguards six groups of fish: lanternfish, sand lance, saury, silverside, smelt, and several types of squid. Commercial fishing of these species is now prohibited unless and until science shows that it will not have an adverse impact on other fisheries or the larger marine ecosystem that depends on healthy populations of forage fish as an essential food source.
By protecting these forage species, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has taken an important and forward-looking step to conserve the ocean ecosystem and sustain the state’s most treasured marine wildlife, including salmon, steelhead, seabirds, and whales, for generations to come.
Strong public support seen as ‘big green light’ on conservation