herring

California Assembly Protects Forage Fish

Posted Fri, Jun 3, 2011 by Ashley Blacow to california assembly, fisheries policy, forage fish, herring, sardines, squid

humpback whales

Humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay. © Richard Fitzer

 Yesterday afternoon, the California Assembly acknowledged the critical role that forage species play in maintaining a healthy marine food web by passing Assembly Bill 1299 (AB 1299), sponsored by Oceana and introduced by Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael).

Forage species, like sardines, herring, and market squid, are truly the “heartbeat” of the ocean forming the foundation of the food web – which in turn benefits everything else that eats these small fish.  

AB 1299 provides a much needed change in the way California manages its fisheries by establishing a state policy that will for the first time consider how much forage should be left in the ocean. This is not just an environmental issue, but largely an economic one; forage species help support California’s recreation and tourism economy, which is worth over $12 billion annually, providing more than 250,000 jobs in the state.


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Speak Up for California’s Marine Life Today

Posted Mon, Mar 21, 2011 by Emily Fisher to california, forage fish, herring, humpback whales, krill, prey species

Humpback whale. [Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Humpback whales flock to the California coast, searching for herring, krill, and other small tasty fish. But these small fish, also known as forage fish, are dwindling in numbers due to fishing pressure, pollution, and demand for feed in the agriculture and aquaculture industries, among other threats.

There is currently legislation pending in the California State Assembly that highlights the importance of prey fish and calls for a scientific approach to fishing for them. Right now there is no consistent state policy governing management of forage species, but with your help we can change that.

Today is the last day to speak up for these important creatures - Tell the California State Assembly to support better management of forage species.


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A Stimulus Package for the Oceans: Deconstruction

This is the second in a series of four guest posts by Paul Greenberg, author of the bestselling book, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing James Prosek's excellent Eels for the New York Times Book Review.  An endlessly interesting topic but most relevant for today's oceanic fisheries because of the unseen (and largely fixable) problem eels represent: the useless damming of small rivers around the country and around the world. 

Rivers are key to oceans: they allow for energy transfer between freshwater ecosystems and saltwater, and the primary way they do that is through "diadromous" i.e. sea run fish like salmon, herring, shad, and yes, eels.


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Fact of the Day: Humpback Whale

humpback whale

Humpback Whale (credit: Wanetta Ayers)

Today’s FOTD is about the humpback whale. These giants grow up to 50 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons. They are highly migratory and spend their summers feeding in the nutrient-rich polar waters and travel to tropical waters to breed.

There is little food for humpbacks in the warm waters of the tropics so they essentially live off their fat reserves, which they build up during their summers in the polar waters.


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