The Council initiated the Unmanaged Forage Omnibus Amendment in December 2014 to “prohibit the development of new, or expansion of existing, directed fisheries on unmanaged forage species until adequate scientific information is available to promote ecosystem sustainability."
Forage species are small fish and invertebrates that feed on smaller marine organisms such as plankton and are in turn eaten by many species of fish, sea birds, and marine mammals. Forage species play an important role in sustaining the productivity and structure of marine ecosystems by facilitating the transfer of energy from the lowest levels of the food chain to higher levels. The Council initiated this amendment to protect the important ecological role that forage species play in the Mid-Atlantic.
This action will only address species that are not currently managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the New England Fishery Management Council, or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
For more details and background on inception of this action, please see the Unmanaged Forage Scoping Document.
Julia Beaty, Fishery Management Specialist - 302-526-5250, firstname.lastname@example.org
In April 2016 the Council approved a range of management alternatives for public hearings. Seven public hearings have been scheduled for May and June 2016. The Council is also accepting written comments through June 17, 2016. Click here for date/location/commenting details. Click here for the Public Hearing Document.
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Documents & Resources
- Public Hearing Materials, updated 7/5/2016
- Public Hearing Document
- Abbreviated public comment summary
- Full public comment summary
- Pew sign on letter with full list of signatures
- Wildlife Conservation Society visitor petition with full list of signatures
- Wildlife Conservation Society online action alert with full list of signatures
- Poems and drawings submitted by Wildlife Conservation Society - Part 1 / Part 2
- Images of pledge wall submitted by Wildlife Conservation Society
- Council-Approved List of Unmanaged Forage Taxa, updated 4/14/2016
- April 2016 Council Meeting
- February 2016 Council Meeting
- Draft Action Plan, 1/7/2016
- December 2015 Council Meeting:
- October 2015 Council Meeting:
- Scoping Document, 8/25/2015
- June 2015 Council Meeting:
- Memo on possible management alternatives to address motion, April 2015
- Press Release: Mid-Atlantic Council Initiates Action to Protect Unmanaged Forage Species, 12/17/14
- Forage Fish White Paper, November 2014
- Forage Fish Workshop, April 2013
- Papers discussed at December 2015 Council Meeting:
- Fishing amplifies forage fish population collapses, Essington et al (2015)
- Environment drives forage productivity, Szuwalski and Hilborn (2015)
- Essington reply to Szuwalski and Hilborne (2015)
- Pacific Fishery Management Council action to protect unmanaged forage fish
- Little Fish, Big Impact – Pikitich et al., a report of the Lenfest Task Force
- The Global Contribution of Forage Fish - Pikitich et al.
- Impacts of Fishing Low-Trophic Level Species - Smith et al.
- Forage Fish: From Ecosystems to Markets – Alder et al.