Forage fish

prey fishforageforagingforage typehunt copepodsHunting copepodsram feedshoal fishsmall fishswarming fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small pelagic fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food.wikipedia
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Pelagic fish

pelagicmesopelagic fishoceanic fish
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small pelagic fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food.
Pelagic fish range in size from small coastal forage fish, such as herrings and sardines, to large apex predator oceanic fishes, such as bluefin tuna and oceanic sharks.

Herring

pickled herringClupeamarinated herring
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
Herring are forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae.

Menhaden

BrevoortiaEthmidiummossbunker
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
Menhaden, also known as mossbunker and bunker, are forage fish of the genera Brevoortia and Ethmidium, two genera of marine fish in the family Clupeidae.

Sprat

silver sprat
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers.
Sprat is the common name applied to a group of forage fish belonging to the genus Sprattus in the family Clupeidae.

Capelin

MallotusMallotus villosuscaplin
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
The capelin or caplin (Mallotus villosus) is a small forage fish of the smelt family found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Arctic oceans.

Halfbeak

HemiramphidaeH. pacificusHalfbeak/Garfish
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
Though not commercially important themselves, these forage fish support artisanal fisheries and local markets worldwide.

Anchovy

anchoviesEngraulidaeanchovie
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
An anchovy is a small, common forage fish of the family Engraulidae.

Shoaling and schooling

schoolsschoolingschool
Forage fish compensate for their small size by forming schools.
Forage fish are small fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food.

Clupeidae

clupeidclupeidsherring
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers.
Clupeids are mostly marine forage fish, although a few species are found in fresh water.

Oily fish

oilyfatty fisholachen
Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
Examples include small forage fish, such as sardines, herring and anchovies, and other larger pelagic fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna, swordfish and mackerel.

Sardine

sardinespilchardpilchards
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers.
"Sardine" and "pilchard" are common names used to refer to various small, oily forage fish in the herring family Clupeidae.

Goldband fusilier

Pterocaesio chrysozona
They include particularly fishes of the family Clupeidae (herrings, sardines, shad, hilsa, menhaden, anchovies, and sprats), but also other small fish, including halfbeaks, silversides, smelt such as capelin and goldband fusiliers.
This is a tropical reef forage fish found between latitudes 30°N and 27°S and longitudes 40°E to 157°E.

Seabird

seabirdssea birdsea birds
Predators include other larger fish, seabirds and marine mammals. The superabundance they present in their schools make them ideal food sources for top predator fish such as tuna, striped bass, cod, salmon, barracuda and swordfish, as well as sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and seabirds.
Many seabirds feed on the ocean's surface, as the action of marine currents often concentrates food such as krill, forage fish, squid or other prey items within reach of a dipped head.

Mackerel

batanggrey mackereljack mackerel
They are in turn eaten by billfish, mackerel, and sharks.
Smaller mackerel are forage fish for larger predators, including larger mackerel and Atlantic cod.

Biomass (ecology)

biomassmassmarine biomass
Ecological pyramids are graphical representations, along the lines of the diagram at the right, which show how biomass or productivity changes at each trophic level in an ecosystem.
In turn, small zooplankton are consumed by both larger predatory zooplankters, such as krill, and by forage fish, which are small, schooling, filter-feeding fish.

Spawn (biology)

spawningspawnspawns
Zooplankton are tiny animals found with the phytoplankton in oceanic surface waters, and include tiny crustaceans, and fish larvae and fry (recently hatched fish).
Common examples are forage fish, such as herrings, which form huge mating shoals in shallow water.

Bait fish

baitfishbaitlive bait
Forage fish, also called prey fish or bait fish, are small pelagic fish which are preyed on by larger predators for food. Typical ocean forage fish are small, silvery schooling oily fish such as herring, anchovies and menhaden, and other small, schooling baitfish like capelin, smelts, sand lance, halfbeaks, pollock, butterfish and juvenile rockfish.
Bait fish can be contrasted with forage fish.

Filter feeder

suspension feederfilter feedingfilter-feeding
Typical ocean forage fish feed near the base of the food chain on plankton, often by filter feeding.
Most forage fish are filter feeders.

Pelagic zone

pelagicepipelagicepipelagic zone
Forage fish utilise the biomass of copepods, mysids and krill in the pelagic zone to become the dominant converters of the enormous ocean production of zooplankton.
Pelagic birds feed on planktonic crustaceans, squid and forage fish.

Bait ball

lunge feedlunge feeding
When threatened, sardines instinctively group together and create massive bait balls.
Small schooling fish are eaten by many types of predators, and for this reason they are called bait fish or forage fish.

Billfish

fishes billed
They are in turn eaten by billfish, mackerel, and sharks.
Instead, they swim along the edge of the continental shelf where cold nutrient rich upwellings can fuel large schools of forage fish.

Copepod

copepodsCopepodaNeocopepoda
Forage fish utilise the biomass of copepods, mysids and krill in the pelagic zone to become the dominant converters of the enormous ocean production of zooplankton.

Salmon

parrLand-locked salmonAlaskan salmon
The superabundance they present in their schools make them ideal food sources for top predator fish such as tuna, striped bass, cod, salmon, barracuda and swordfish, as well as sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and seabirds.
Salmon farming leads to a high demand for wild forage fish.

Fish farming

fish farmpisciculturefish farms
Of this, 46 percent was fed to farmed fish, 24 percent to pigs, and 22 percent to poultry (2002).
Carnivorous farmed fish are usually fed fishmeal and fish oil extracted from wild forage fish.

Swarm behaviour

swarmswarmingswarms
They usually travel in large, slow moving, tightly packed schools with their mouths open.
In particular, copepods are prey to forage fish and jellyfish, both of which can assemble in vast, million-strong swarms.