Forage fish

Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, include Anchovies, herring, shad, smelt, chub mackerel, and sardines. These are small schooling species that serve as prey for larger commercially and recreationally important fish. Many larger predator fish, marine mammals and sea birds are sharply focused on the numbers and whereabouts of forage fish shoals, and often migrate thousands of miles to connect with them. Forage fish themselves consume plankton, lichens and aquatic algae to produce food energy from the sun and are the raw fuel for marine food webs. Some swim in synchronized grids with their mouths open to efficiently filter plankton. As such, forage fish occupy indispensable positions in our ocean and lake food webs. Current overfishing has far-reaching consequences on these bait fish shoals and the webs they support.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of S.1484 - Forage Fish Conservation Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT)

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