Proposed Abstract Title

Forage Fish Ecology and Restoration

Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Forage Fish Management and Conservation in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Forage Fish Ecology and Restoration Abstract

Forage fish are small, pelagic fishes that form an essential energy pathway between producers and secondary consumers. Taking into account the scope of forage fish’s influence on the marine and riparian environment, this study examines how proper commercial management, ecological knowledge, and forage fish restoration benefits the Georgia Depression ecosystem as a whole. Observing officially recorded beach spawning sites of forage fish like Pacific Sand Lance and Surf Smelt in this area, as well as reviewing a wide array of publications on the subject of forage fish, brought about the idea that there has long been an awareness of the importance of their conservation, but a lack of information on their larger ecological role. In turn, the current and historical status of their predators and prey were examined, revealing frequent movements and fluctuations in predator populations lining up with forage fish health, and bioaccumulation in higher trophic levels due to the ingestion of harmful algal blooms by forage fish. A policy of “Evolution not Revolution” was found to be the most ideal method of managing forage fish, as opposed to taking more drastic measures. Additionally, it was discovered that the greatest weakness of any organism is the deficit of knowledge on them, and the resulting shortfall of incentives to protect them in the long run. This study is intended to be read by any audience in order to enrich knowledge on forage fish, and provide motivation towards their restoration and conservation.

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Forage Fish Ecology and Restoration

2016SSEC

Forage Fish Ecology and Restoration Abstract

Forage fish are small, pelagic fishes that form an essential energy pathway between producers and secondary consumers. Taking into account the scope of forage fish’s influence on the marine and riparian environment, this study examines how proper commercial management, ecological knowledge, and forage fish restoration benefits the Georgia Depression ecosystem as a whole. Observing officially recorded beach spawning sites of forage fish like Pacific Sand Lance and Surf Smelt in this area, as well as reviewing a wide array of publications on the subject of forage fish, brought about the idea that there has long been an awareness of the importance of their conservation, but a lack of information on their larger ecological role. In turn, the current and historical status of their predators and prey were examined, revealing frequent movements and fluctuations in predator populations lining up with forage fish health, and bioaccumulation in higher trophic levels due to the ingestion of harmful algal blooms by forage fish. A policy of “Evolution not Revolution” was found to be the most ideal method of managing forage fish, as opposed to taking more drastic measures. Additionally, it was discovered that the greatest weakness of any organism is the deficit of knowledge on them, and the resulting shortfall of incentives to protect them in the long run. This study is intended to be read by any audience in order to enrich knowledge on forage fish, and provide motivation towards their restoration and conservation.