Forage Fish Conservation Act Would Help Protect Ocean Food Webs

To strengthen protections for fisheries and promote responsible management of forage fish, National Wildlife Federation supports new bipartisan legislation. These populations—which include herring, shad, anchovies, and sardines—are critical to marine ecosystems, from larger fish to whales to seabirds, as well as commercial and recreational fishermen. The Forage Fish Conservation Act would help to address the steep decline in forage fish populations and the lack of protections in current law. Forage fish sustain ocean wildlife, as well as coastal communities that rely on fishing, wildlife tourism, and seafood sales.

“We know that small fish have a big impact in our ocean food webs,” said Jessie Ritter, director of Water Resources and Coastal Policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “That’s why a strategy to ensure smart, science-based management of forage fish species is so important to overall ocean health and sustainable fisheries. The National Wildlife Federation is grateful to Congresswoman Dingell and Congressman Mast for their leadership on this legislation, which will help ensure that forage fish not only survive, but thrive in their dynamic marine ecosystems.”

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