What Are Forage Fish?

A cartoon crash course

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Forage fish are small species such as herring, menhaden, and sardines that swim in big schools and feed on plankton. Though tiny, forage fish play a massive role in our ocean's ecosystem, serving as a critical food source for species ranging from sharks and whales to seals and seabirds.

Watch and learn how the littlest fish make a big difference, and how fisheries leaders can help protect populations from overfishing.

Cartoonist Jim Toomey—whose daily comic strip, Sherman’s Lagoon, is syndicated in more than 250 newspapers in the United States—has joined forces with The Pew Charitable Trusts to illustrate "forage fish" and other terms associated with our oceans.

Watch the full ocean terms video series.

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A Visual Glossary of Ocean Terminology

Cartoon crash course

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Ocean conservation is essential but sometimes difficult to understand. Pew joined forces with cartoonist Jim Toomey, the artist behind “Sherman’s Lagoon,” on 10 animated videos that explain the complicated concepts that guide efforts to protect our oceans.