Seagrass, Macroalgae and Forage Fish Protection

Seagrasses and macroalgae hold a particularly important place in shoreline ecology. They provide protection, food, and support for the reproductive cycle of birds, forage fish, and other species, as well as binding and detoxification for the ecosystem as as whole. These plants are threatened by the expansion of industrial aquaculture, and by efforts by the industry to eradicate Zostera japonica, the non-native (but beneficial) Japanese Eelgrass that grows alongside native species.

The Coalition has filed a petition, plus supplemental information, before the State Noxious Weed Control Board, to delete Japanese Eelgrass (Zostera japonica) from classification as a Class C noxious weed.

Our thanks to Dan Penttila, Salish Sea Biological, Anacortes, WA, for providing the images used in this article. Dan is Washington’s foremost expert on forage fish.

Herring eggs on native eelgrass

Herring eggs on eelgrass


Red algae with herring spawn

Red algae with herring spawn


Herring spawn on native eelgrass

Herring spawn on eelgrass