Healthy Forage Fish Helps Billfish and other High Migratory Fish
Saltwater ecosystem dynamics include not just the marine habitat, but also the creatures, overfishing, predator/prey interaction, pollution, temperature changes, etc. Yet the primary fishery management law of the U.S., the Magnuson-Stevens Act, does not include provisions for managing prey or forage fish that provide an important food source for larger fish, marine mammals and birds. If the Forage Fish Conservation Act (FFCA), a bipartisan bill, introduced on April 10, 2019, becomes law, monitoring and assessments will be required of predator needs, impacts of increased removal of forage fish on other species, established fisheries and fishing communities before any new or increase is harvest could be approved.
Menhaden, claimed by some to be the most important fish in the ocean, is one forage species receiving greater scrutiny by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which is charged with their management and by the New York legislature.
Immediate Action needed: Another family of fish to consider are Bullet Tunas, Auxis rochei, and similar Frigate Mackerel, Auxis thazard dolphin/wahoo fishery management plan as ecosystem component species, acknowledging the role the two currently unmanaged species play as important prey for both dolphin and wahoo.
- The South Atlantic Council will accept written comments on the subject can be submitted via this link until May 16th.
- You can also register for the May 7 (6 p.m.) webinar here
- Or the webinar for the May 9 (6 p.m.) webinar here.
For more background information, please visit the council website here.