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Be Heard for Herring!

The New England Fishery Management Council is taking public comment on actions designed to better manage Atlantic sea herring for its ecological role as forage. Atlantic herring has been described as the linchpin holding together the food web in New England waters. Humpback whales, porpoises, seals, puffins, terns, tuna, striped bass, cod, pollock and haddock are just a few in the long list of ocean wildlife that feed on herring.

Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan recognizes the importance of herring as prey and seeks to address two main purposes:

1. Propose a long-term acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule that explicitly accounts for herring’s role in the ecosystem.

2. Address potential localized depletion of Atlantic herring to minimize possible detrimental impacts on predators of herring and associated socioeconomic impacts on other user groups.

The New England Council is now holding hearings and taking written comments on what options to include in Amendment 8 to the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Herring.

How and when to comment

Written comments can be submitted via mail, email, or fax:
Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director
New England Fishery Management Council
50 Water Street, Mill 2
Newburyport, MA 01950
Fax: (978) 465–3116
Please note on your correspondence “DEIS for Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring FMP”

Comments must be received by 5:00 PM (EST) on June 25, 2018. And check out the Amendment 8 Public Hearing Document for more details about the amendment alternatives and to find a hearing near you!

Alternatives to Support:

  • ABC Control Rule Alternative 2: This option prioritizes herring predator forage needs by applying science-based guidance for managing forage stocks. The control rule would specify catch limits designed to maintain the stock’s biomass at a level that supports a stable directed fishery while leaving a sufficient supply of herring in the water for predators.
  • Localized Depletion and User Conflict Alternative 6 with Area Sub-option A and Seasonal Sub-option A: This combination would prohibit mid-water trawl gear inside of a buffer zone extending 50 nautical miles from shore. The prohibition would be in place for all herring management areas throughout the year. The intent of this alternative is to conserve inshore ecosystems by reducing concentrated removals of herring. Mid-water trawl vessels are the largest vessels in the fishery, and they often work in pairs, towing a net between two vessels that can be up to 200 feet long. Millions of herring can quickly be removed from a relatively small area, sweeping up vulnerable coastal species like river herring in the process.

Take the Swordfish Pledge

One of the keys to changing the swordfish fishery, as in any market, is collective action from consumers.  Consumers have to start demanding sustainably-caught swordfish and refusing other swordfish alternatives.  Until then, U.S. and foreign fleets will continue to deploy indiscriminate gear like longlines and drift nets, turning a blind eye to the bycatch of sharks, billfish, juvenile tunas and other finish.

Keep Longlines Out Of The Pacific

Sign our petition to keep longlines out of the pacificThe Pacific Fishery Management Council and National Marine Fisheries Service are considering allowing industrial-scale longliners into waters off of California, Oregon and Washington.  In the past, recreational fishermen have fought off long lining. It’s time to speak out again for “NO LONGLINES IN THE PACIFIC”.

Sign our Petition Now