Published on March 16, 2014
Tessa Francis, PhD University of Washington Tacoma Puget Sound Institute WA House Environment Committee March 13, 2014 Forage Fish in Puget Sound: Status, Importance, and Recovery
Paciﬁc herring Clupea pallasii photo by Walter Rung Surf smelt Hypomesus pre/osus photo by Frank Varga Sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus photo by Ground Truth Trekking Meet the ﬁsh.
Forage ﬁsh are more valuable in the water than out. Harbor Seals: 80% Chinook salmon: 80% Lingcod: 95% Orcas Rhinoceros auklet: 70% Marbled murrelet: 60% TuGed puﬃn Photo by Peter Hodum
Forage ﬁsh are 30-‐60 Lmes more valuable in the water Source: DFW 2008, TCW Economics; LenFest Forage Fish Task Force Report Direct value SupporLve value $25 million $0.4 – 0.8 million
Key Indicators of Ecosystem Health Food web connec*ons Forage ﬁsh Zooplankton Phytoplankton Predators
Key Indicators of Ecosystem Health Human impacts Shoreline development Contaminants/pollutants Water quality Human AcLviLes
Paciﬁc herring Engraulis mordax photo by Walter Rung What is their status? 0 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000 15,000 18,000 1973 1978 1983 1988 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018 TONS Adult Herring Spawner Biomass
Paciﬁc herring Engraulis mordax photo by Walter Rung ? photo by Frank Varga ? What is their status? 0 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000 15,000 18,000 1973 1978 1983 1988 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018 TONS Adult Herring Spawner Biomass
Paciﬁc herring Engraulis mordax photo by Frank Varga photo by Ground Truth Trekking We have major challenges Herring 1. We don’t know why herring are declining. • Habitat loss • PredaEon • PolluEon • Prey • Disease • Disturbance 2. We don’t know populaEon status of surf smelt or sand lance. • How many are there? • How many do we need?
We do know habitat ma]ers • Herring populaEon is 2x more stable because of habitat diversity. • Shoreline development degrades forage ﬁsh spawning habitat. • Higher egg mortality • Higher temperatures • Loss of fresh sediment supply
What acLons are we taking? • Puget Sound Partnership is tracking Paciﬁc herring as an indicator of ecosystem health. • Puget Sound InsLtute has convened a panel of forage ﬁsh experts to ﬁll key informaEon gaps using exisEng data. • Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program has prioriEzed measuring sand lance and surf smelt abundance. • Dept of Fish & Wildlife is taking a precauEonary approach with ﬁsheries management. • Dept of Fish & Wildlife requires HPA permit to develop shorelines.
What more should we be doing? 1. Collect abundance data for surf smelt and sand lance 2. EsEmate the abundance of surf smelt and sand lance using exisLng data 3. Determine the limitaEons to herring recovery using exisLng data 4. Collect biological informaEon 5. Improve habitat protecEon regulaEons 6. Limit ﬁsheries harvest 7. Monitor predators and prey
WA House Environment Committee March 13, 2014 Forage Fish in Puget Sound: Status, Importance, and Recovery. Paciﬁc&herring& Clupea’pallasii ...
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