Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force
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Media Coverage

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys!
August 21, 2013
National Geographic NewsWatch Ocean Views

Don't Hold the Anchovies
June 27, 2013
ONEARTH Blog

The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012
December 18, 2012
“Surprising Science” - Smithsonian.com

Big Victory for Little Fish (and the Future of the Oceans)
November 14, 2012
HuffPost Green

Little Fish in a Big Pond
November 1, 2012
The Scientist

Contributions of forage fish worldwide explained
September 11, 2012
FIS

Globally, little forage fish net big profits
September 10, 2012
Futurity

Cutbacks of small fish catches will yield big gains
August 23, 2012
Environmental Industry

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Events

Meeting of Ireland’s National Parliament’s Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
October 17, 2013
Dublin, Ireland

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council - Forage Panel Workshop
April 11, 2013
Raleigh, NC

Herring School Workshop
February 5, 2013
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

ICES/PICES
November 13, 2012
Nantes, France

Northeast Fisheries Service
September 12, 2012
Woods Hole, MA

COFI 2012
July 9-13, 2012
Rome, Italy

European Parliament
July 12, 2012
Brussels, Belgium

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News Releases

Expert Task Force Recommends Halving Global Fishing for Crucial Prey Species

Study provides first-time analysis of three distinct contributions of forage fish worldwide

Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force Holds Pivotal Meeting.

Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force travels to Peru and examines largest forage fishery in the world

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Big Warning on Little Fish

April 8, 2012
New York Times editorial

There is more to smart fishery management than protecting the big, delicious species, like striped bass, cod, tuna and salmon. A huge and growing portion of the world’s commercial catch – 37 percent by weight – is made up of small fish, like herring, sardines, anchovies and menhaden, which are food for larger predators.

These “forage fish” are ground up and used in all sorts of products, including feed for pig lots and fish farms, nutritional supplements and salad dressing. They are valuable and easy to catch, and industrial fleets the world over are relentlessly “harvesting” them with little awareness of the damage this is doing to the oceans’ ecosystems.

A new study by an international group of marine and fisheries scientists warns that the taking of forage fish should be cut back, drastically in some areas, to prevent broader ecological destruction. The report, by the Lenfest Foundation, urges a rethinking of the common belief that little fish are “more like weeds than trees,” whose populations can be maintained no matter how aggressively they are fished. After studying a variety of regions, including the Antarctic, the North and Baltic Seas, Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Maine, the researchers concluded that forage fish are not only more vulnerable than previously thought, but also worth more in the water than in the net because of the many species of larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals that depend on them.

The scientists, acknowledging that there are gaps in knowledge about some forage-fish species, urge erring on the side of protecting these fisheries, which can rebound quickly if allowed to. Stricter limits will be opposed by many in the forage-fishing industry. But future abundance depends on ending overfishing, a change that will benefit consumers, the ocean environment and fish of all sizes.

New York Times editorial

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