Forage Fish Workshop

April 11, 2013, Raleigh, North Carolina 


Understanding the roles that forage species play within ecosystems has emerged in the scientific literature as a key element in the development of an ecosystem approach to fishery management. Forage species provide an important link between primary productivity and upper trophic levels within marine ecosystems. At the same time, forage species often support economically valuable fisheries through direct harvest. Recent scientific findings suggest that forage stocks may warrant special management consideration, especially with respect to achieving ecosystem level management goals and objectives. In addition, current National Standard 1 (NS1) guidelines recommend that consideration should be given to managing forage stocks for higher biomass than traditional MSY based reference points (Bmsy) to enhance and protect the marine ecosystem.


The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the key issues relevant to forage fish assessment and management under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A panel of experts discussed the role of forage species within ecosystems and best practices with respect to the harvest of forage species, taking their role(s) within ecosystems into account.  The Council expects to use the workshop as a starting point for development of a forage exploitation policy as part of its ecosystem approach to fisheries management guidance document.


For presentations 1 & 2:

For presentations 3 & 4:

Panel Members and Bios


Recordings (Audio and Presentations)