Illustrating the hidden economic, social and ecological values of global forage fish resources


The study, written by University of California, Davis economist James Sanchirico and Tim Essington, a marine ecologist with the University of Washington and a Pew marine fellow, was published recently in the journal Ecological Applications. So it could be a win-win situation," Essington said. The once endangered brown pelican was removed from the endangered species list in 2009. However, the recent depletion of sardine populations has raised new concerns about the status of brown pelicans off the west coast. Forage fish are small pelagic fish that have a significant impact on both marine food webs and coastal economies. They are an important food source for many predators, from commercially valuable fish species to seabirds. People also rely on them to make food, fishmeal, fish oil, and other products. Historically, fisheries managers have focused on managing one forage species at a time. However, this does not reflect the role of species in food webs. However, there is momentum to move towards ecosystem-based strategies, largely based on research showing that they can protect biodiversity and promote long-term sustainable fisheries. Nevertheless, Sanquirico said, "There are many questions about the potential economic and environmental benefits and the conditions under which they can be expected to be maximized. This study seeks to answer those questions. The findings outlined in the paper may also help managers optimize catch limits when forage fish populations fluctuate naturally. This model allows fishers to make better use of their forage fish populations when stocks are at peak without harming ecosystems. However, managers should take stricter precautions to close fisheries before population cycles become low. If such a management approach is implemented, the sardine fishery could achieve economic returns of over 60% compared to the current management system. "Our study points to a growing body of literature highlighting the potential benefits of zooming out and taking a more holistic view, as well as the conditions under which those benefits are likely to be maximized. Sanchirico said. "Forage fish management looks like a simple fruit to incorporate ecosystem principles and approaches into management." There is also the ecological or intrinsic value that it imparts. Understanding these multiple benefits and their value provided by forage fish will guide prioritization in resource management and ensure that feed fish are not compromised on the long-term benefits that forage fish provide to society. Allows for better resource allocation for commercial fish. Fishmeal is traded worldwide, with the largest amount being exported from Latin America and imported to Asia. , forage fish continue to serve as a very important feed ingredient and play an important role in the growth and economic viability of the aquaculture industry. Unless the adoption of sustainable and nutritionally equivalent alternatives in aquaculture accelerates, the demand for fishmeal from aquaculture production could exceed the supply of forage fish, and the ecological limit of forage fisheries could be reached as early as 2037. There is evidence that there is a risk of a normal scenario and, ultimately, overfishing of major commercial forage fish species.