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A thriving ocean ecosystem relies on plenty of oil-rich forage fish such as sardines, anchovies and herring. These small schooling fish occupy the crucial midpoint of the ocean food web and are preyed upon by many species of seabirds, marine mammals and commercially and recreationally important fish such as salmon, tuna, groundfish and other predators.
The Pacific Ocean supports a vibrant West Coast fishing industry, both for people who fish for a living and for sport. It attracts tens of thousands of whale watchers and a profusion of aquatic life. But the marine food web, and the coastal economies it supports, depends to a great degree on an abundance of schooling fish.
Many of these forage populations are not monitored or managed, and fishing regulations do not explicitly account for their value as a crucial food source for top predators. Developing a new approach, one that balances the needs of the ecosystem as a whole, will ensure that we maintain the food base that is vital for a healthy ocean and sustainable fishing industry.For more information, visit the Pacific Fish Conservation Campaign website.
Aug 20, 2013 - Forage fish, such as sand lance, sardines, and smelt, may be little, but they play a major role in sustaining a healthy and vibrant marine ecosystem along this country’s Pacific coast. Take our forage fish quiz, and learn some eye-opening facts about why these little fish are a big deal in the ocean.
May 06, 2013 - Thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, hard work, and dedication, our nation now benefits from dozens of rebuilt fish populations. The law's requirements to end overfishing and rebuild fish populations are working. In fact, A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, "Status of Stocks 2012," demonstrates that since 2000, 32 fishery stocks have been rebuilt, with a record 11 stocks recovering in just the last two years
View: Full Report (Adobe PDF)
Apr 12, 2013 - In a landmark development for ensuring a healthy Pacific Ocean, fishery managers this week unanimously approved their first Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the West Coast.
Feb 19, 2013 - The Pacific Fishery Management Council has declared its intent to improve protection of forage fish as its inaugural initiative under its newly proposed Fishery Ecosystem Plan. The proposal was released for public comment on Feb. 14.
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