The Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force, a group of thirteen preeminent scientists with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, conducted a comprehensive examination of the science and management of forage fish populations. Forage fish are small, schooling fish. They play a crucial link in ocean food webs because they eat tiny plants and animals, called plankton, and are preyed upon by animals such as penguins, whales, seals, puffins, and dolphins.
These species are primary food sources for many commercially and recreationally valuable fish, such as salmon, tuna, and cod. The Task Force found that fishing for herring, anchovy, and other “forage fish” in general should be cut in half globally to account for their critical role as food for larger predators.