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Fishing Regulators Vote To Manage Atlantic Herring More Conservatively

Atlantic herring (Courtesy of NOAA)
Atlantic herring (Courtesy of NOAA)
This article is more than 4 years old.

Federal fishery regulators voted Tuesday to manage Atlantic herring more conservatively.

Herring are a small, schooling fish primarily caught to be used as bait for tuna and lobster.

A recent stock assessment shows the population has reached historic lows over the past five years.

Members of the New England Fishery Management Council approved a more conservative formula used to set catch limits. The formula will more explicitly take into account herring’s ecological role as a fish eaten by bigger fish and marine birds and mammals.

The nonprofit The Pew Charitable Trusts estimates the new rule will keep an additional 31 million pounds of herring in the water over the next three years.

The management council also banned commercial fishermen from using large fishing nets called "mid-water trawls" within 12 miles of New England’s coastline.

The changes have been submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service for final approval.

This story was originally published by Rhode Island Public Radio.


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