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CANBERRA, Australia — Reduced catches of small oceanic ‘forage’ fish like sardines and anchovies may be required in some ocean areas in order to protect the larger predators that rely on these species for food.

This is a finding of the first major study of the ecosystem effects of fishing forage species: ‘Impacts of fishing low trophic level species on marine ecosystems’, reported today in the journal Science.

Dr Tony Smith of CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship led the international team of 12 authors from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France and Peru.

“Forage species such as anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel and krill often are the main food source for larger predatory fish, marine mammals and seabirds,” Dr Smith said 

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