(October 29, 2021) – Yesterday, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) reintroduced the Forage Fish Conservation Act, which is able to assist shield forage fish—the small however vital education fish that function a important meals supply to weak seabirds.
“This fall, seabirds just like the Black Tern are retreating from the Nice Lakes marshes the place they constructed their summer season properties, to journey 1000’s of miles over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico in direction of their winter properties. However they’ll solely make this strenuous migration journey if there are considerable ocean fish for them to eat alongside the best way,” mentioned Michelle Parker, vp and government director of Audubon Nice Lakes.
“This invoice will shield seabirds’ major meals supply, to assist safeguard them from the dramatic inhabitants declines we’ve seen in current many years. We’re grateful to Congresswoman Dingell for her conservation management, which acknowledges the advantages that forage fish present to wildlife and the native economies that depend upon them to thrive.”
Seabirds are in disaster. Threats like overfishing and local weather change have precipitated seabird populations all over the world to say no by 70 % since 1950. Forage fish, together with dozens of species of herring, anchovy, squid, and a few small crustaceans, function the first meals supply for a lot of seabird species. Forage fish should not but included in federal fisheries administration, leaving them weak to overfishing all through the nation.
Launched alongside Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), the Forage Fish Conservation Act of 2021 will amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Administration Act, the first legislation that governs ocean fish administration in U.S. federal waters, to acknowledge the vital position that forage fish play within the ecosystem for seabirds, bigger fish and different marine life.
The invoice will present a typical definition for forage fish throughout the nation for the primary time. It should additionally set up protections for forage fish species that aren’t but fished, and account for the wants of seabirds and different predators when setting catch limits for forage fish species which are at present being fished.
When correctly managed forage fish help varied industries and jobs in throughout America. As a major meals supply for bigger sport fish and different predators, the safety of forage fish helps leisure fishing and associated industries that add $68 billion to the financial system, the seafood trade that gives $144 billion to the financial system, and wildlife watchers who collectively spend over $122 billion on recreation yearly.
“Forage fish are the beating coronary heart of the ocean,” mentioned Anna Weinstein, director of marine conservation for the Nationwide Audubon Society. “This laws will guarantee there are many these little fish within the sea, for seabirds, whales, and bigger fish. Its passage is important for safeguarding our coastal ecosystem and financial system.”
Rep. Dingell beforehand launched this invoice within the Home of Representatives over the past congressional session. The Home invoice serves as a companion to the Senate model launched by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in April 2021.
The Nationwide Audubon Society protects birds and the locations they want, at present and tomorrow. Audubon works all through the Americas utilizing science, advocacy, training, and on-the-ground conservation. State packages, nature facilities, chapters, and companions give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches hundreds of thousands of individuals every year to tell, encourage, and unite various communities in conservation motion. A nonprofit conservation group since 1905, Audubon believes in a world by which folks and wildlife thrive. Study extra at www.audubon.org and on Fb, Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.
Emily Osborne, Audubon Nice Lakes, email@example.com
Rachel Guillory, Nationwide Audubon Society, firstname.lastname@example.org