During the last few decades, human activities put the world’s wild creatures on the brink of crisis. Unfortunately, the world has lost over 50% of vertebrate wildlife in the last 40 years.
Illegal hunting, agriculture expansion, wildfires, and logging imposed a severe threat to the natural ecosystem. All these factors pushed several species on the verge of extinction.
In this situation, wildlife conservation is mandatory to preserve these declining species. Especially, laws and regulations are critical to restrain humans activities, contributing to animal endangerment.
Considering the importance of wildlife conservation, countries worldwide are active in implementing strict laws to safeguard endangered species.
US Sen. Richard Blumenthal also introduced a bill named Forage Fish Conservation Act to protect forage fish in America. On December 17, 2020, the law was proposed to highlight the starring role of forage fish in the marine ecosystem.
According to Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president for conservation policy, the Act will help manage the forage fish population for the next 40 years.
Forage Fish are small migratory schooling fish, forming the base of the ocean food web. They feed on small plants and animals and, in turn, serve as a food source for larger fish, sea birds, and sea mammals.
However, in the recent few decades, overfishing wiped out over one-third of forage fish across the globe. Humans do not directly consume these forage fish. Instead, they are used to manufacture poultry feed, fertilizers, and dietary supplements.
The survival of forage fish is necessary to conserve other marine species. They are a primary food source for species, including tuna, bluefish, sharks, cords, and seabirds. Therefore the conservation of these forage fish is vital to maintaining the healthy ocean ecosystem.
If the Act gets ratification from the House, it will amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which executes fish management in federal waters.
The law was introduced after Long Island Sound fish was in the news last month. These fish suffered severe declination along Connecticut’s shoreline because they could not migrate due to warm temperatures. The delay resulted in their deaths due to the scarcity of food sources.
Considering the Fish Conservation Act’s significance, different organizations and institutions also pledged to endorse the law. A union of The Maritime Aquarium, Audubon Connecticut, Mystic Aquarium, and the Long Island Soundkeeper decided to support Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Wildlife is a precious gift from God. Being a primary contributor to ecosystem destruction, the responsibility falls on our shoulders to safeguard extinct species. Forage Fish Conservation Act is a good initiative by Sen. Richard to save marine threatened species.