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In light of research which has shown that forage fish, aka “bait fish”, left in the ocean are far more valuable than if they are removed, the Pacific Fishery Management Council has put in place new rules protecting such species. Forage fish have primarily been used to make low-value products like fish meal or fish oil; few are used for direct human consumption. Taking the fish deprives larger species, such as salmon and cod, of a critical food source. Giving urgency to the council’s action is the news that sardine fisheries have collapsed and may be unfishable. In turn, this has been blamed for mass starvation among sea lion populations. The Oregonian covers the story: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/03/pacific_fishery_managers_appro.html#incart_river