Protect Oregon's Ocean Ecosystems: Save Forage Fish

Tell Oregon decision-makers to protect food for wild salmon, marine mammals, and seabirds.

Large schools of tiny fish - known as forage fish - are key to ocean health, providing food for a multitude of invaluable marine wildlife in ocean waters up and down the Oregon Coast. These little fish are a big deal. It's time to protect them.

Officials at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are currently considering new protections for forage fish in state waters. By protecting our marine food web through a state-based plan, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can support the ecological and economic health of Oregon's coastal communities.

Take Action: Add your voice in support of forage fish conservation in Oregon.

Last year, the Pacific Fishery Management Council made a landmark decision to protect currently unfished forage fish in federal waters from three to 200 miles off the U.S. West Coast. This important action set the stage for Oregon to move forward with similar safeguards in state waters, from the shore to three miles out. Now is the time to let decision makers know you want action to protect forage fish in 2016.
Dear Director Melcher:

I write to you to encourage the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to protect currently unmanaged species of forage fish in state waters as a critical step toward ensuring an adequate prey base for larger marine predators such as salmon, steelhead, albacore tuna, sharks, whales, and seabirds.

Many of these forage fish species - including sand lance, saury and pelagic squids - are heavily fished in other parts of the world. By protecting six broad groups of forage fish not currently targeted by commercial fishing in Oregon waters, ODFW will be taking the kind of precautionary approach needed to sustain our ocean resources, including our most valuable recreational and commercial fisheries, now and for future generations. An Oregon Forage Fish Management Plan can build on Oregon's leadership at the Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect unmanaged forage fish in federal waters of the Pacific Ocean.

[Your comment will be added here]

Please ensure that this effort remains a priority for ODFW so that a state forage fish plan can be adopted and fully implemented this year, in concert with federal protections.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.


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