- Forage fish represent a critical link in ocean food webs because they feed on plankton, which produce energy from the sun, and they transfer this energy to seabirds, marine mammals, and larger fish such as tuna, salmon, and cod.
- Because their populations fluctuate considerably, they school in large numbers and can be caught relatively easily, forage fish are especially prone to overfishing and collapse.
- When forage fish populations collapse, so do our favorite game fish.
- Globally, forage fish have a commercial value of only $5.6 billion, but their supportive value to other commercially important species (e.g., tuna, swordfish, etc.) is worth nearly double that amount—and that doesn't even begin to factor in the recreational value of game fish.