The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved Amendment 12 to the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Management Plan (FMP), which adds bullet and frigate mackerel as ecosystem component (EC) species. EC species do not warrant current management on their own, but the designation helps achieve FMP objectives by increasing awareness of their importance to pelagic predators. Bullet and frigate mackerel are important prey species for pelagic dolphin and wahoo, with mackerel being wahoo’s dominant forage species. Mackerel are also important components of tuna and marlin diets. More Amendment 12 information is available on the Federal Registrar website.
The Forage Fish Conservation Act, which TBF supports, is currently before Congress after failing to be passed during the previous session and offers additional protection for prey species.