Fish are important because they contribute essential nutrients to their ecosystems, according to researchers at the University of Georgia and Florida International University. The nutrients provided by fish aid in the development of other organisms and helps regulate the ecosystem's food web.
There are more than 30,000 different species of fish living in various ecosystems around the world. Fish not only provide a source of sustenance for fishing communities, but they are also an important component in marine biotic communities. Fish contribute to the growth of sea grass and algae by excreting the nutrients they take in after consuming micro organisms, plants and smaller animals. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia and Florida International University concluded that the fish living in large reefs contribute more nutrients than sources such as "runoff from golf courses and human caused impact, combined."
Recently, the important role of fish in the ecosystem has been undermined by over-fishing and pollution for industrial activity. Such activity has caused a reduction in the population of fish and an overall reduction in the health of marine biotic communities. There have also been changes in the fish habitats and a dramatic change in the marine food web.