What Are Forage Fish?| A Cartoon Crash Course
Forage fish are small fishes such as herring, menhaden, and sardines that swim in big schools and feed on plankton. It’s a massive feeding frenzy with remorseless eating machines gorging on a all-u-can-eat buffet… except everything’s really small. They’re not much to look at – in fact,
they look like they fell out of an ugly tree… and hit every ugly branch on the way down, but forage fish are a critical food source for a bunch of different species, from sharks and whales, to seabirds, tunas, seals and sea lions. If we take them out of the picture, we could upset the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. And that’s what could happen if we continue to fish these little guys at an unsustainable rate. Without adequate catch limits, industrial fishing boats can scoop up as many forage fish as they want, grind them up, and send
them off to be used in animal feed, cosmetics, fertilizer and other products. Not only are forage fish themselves threatened, their habitats are in danger too. Pollution, dams, and run-off are destroying their homes. But these little guys still have hope. Fishery managers can set catch limits to sustain populations and help keep the ocean food web in tact. Let’s go guys!