The National Wildlife Federation

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Bipartisan Legislation Will Conserve Marine Fisheries, Sustain Coastal Economies

Washington, D.C. – The bipartisan Forage Fish Conservation Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), will help conserve fisheries and ensure science guides the management of forage fish populations. Forage fish – such as herring, shad, anchovies, and sardines – support marine ecosystems as a critical base of the food web and are vital for larger ocean wildlife and commercial and recreational anglers. However, current laws don’t fully consider the importance of forage fish in all fishery management plans, leaving them vulnerable to overfishing. 

“From salmon and snappers to seabirds and whales, the entire ocean food web depends on forage fish,” said Jessie Ritter, director of water resources and coastal policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “Scientific, sustainable management of fisheries will help declining forage fish populations recover, and ensure they can support other fish and other wildlife that are critical to anglers and cherished by coastal communities. We thank Senators Blumenthal and Blunt for championing a future in which forage fish and the rest of our marine ecosystem can thrive.”  

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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