"The global contribution of forage fish to marine fisheries and ecosystems," recently published online in the journal FISH and FISHERIES, synthesized data obtained from multiple independent studies of marine ecosystems around the world that include forage fish. This research was supported by a grant from the Lenfest Ocean Program, and the research was conducted under the auspices of the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force.
The analysis showed the value of the direct catch of forage fish is $5.6 billion. The highest forage fish catches were found in the Humboldt Current models where the Peruvian anchoveta fishery operates. The value of fisheries that are supported by forage fish is twice that of the direct catch at $11.3 billion. The dollar amount of the contributions of forage fish to industries such as tourism and recreational fishing were not estimated for this study, and would increase the estimated economic value of the fish as prey species.
"Most previous economic studies of forage fish have focused primarily on their role as a directly harvested commodity," said Konstantine J. Rountos, co-lead author and Ph.D. student at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. "By including an analysis of the indirect value these fish provide as prey species, this study provides data to policy makers, fishery managers, and others when making decisions about the harvest of these fish."
"Considering the ecological roles and support services provided by forage fish in addition to their economic value can result in a win-win situation for both fisheries and ecosystems," said Dr. Pikitch. "This approach can result in sustainable populations of both forage fish and the larger fish that depend on them, as well as oceans teeming with a healthy balance of
|Contact: Cindy Yeast|
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science