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West Coast Fisheries To See Ecosystem Approach

Federal fisheries managers for the West Coast are poised for a major change in the way they make sure that plenty of fish remain in the sea.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is meeting in Portland this week. On Tuesday, it’s expected to adopt a new ecosystem management approach to managing the catch off Oregon, Washington and California.

That means that when making decisions on setting seasons, quotas and fishing methods, the council will take into account factors such as habitat, and the impacts on other marine species.

The Fisheries Ecosystem Plan includes a key provision to consider future protections for forage fish that aren’t already targeted by a fishery. Forage fish are the little fish that the big fish depend on for food.

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