Herring, mackerel and other small schooling fish are food for the whole ecosystem, including marine mammals, birds, and larger fish like tuna and striped bass. But the expansion of industrial-scale fishing is jeopardizing these key prey species and the marine environments and coastal communities they support.
Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
Published: Thursday, January 29, 2015
The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering a framework that would allow the fishing industry to partially pay for onboard observers on the East Coast, filling in the gaps of the federal budget.
The "omnibus amendment" is still winding its way through the New England and Mid-Atlantic fishery management councils and will likely undergo changes before it makes it to the agency's desk. But the underlying idea has broad support: Allow industry to pay for the days at sea of needed observers, who collect data and monitor bycatch.
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
By Tom Porter
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Regional fishing industry regulators have rejected a plan to list river herring and shad as part of the Atlantic Herring fishery.
The measure would have put the two species under a federal management plan that would have included greater conservation. But the New England Fishery Management Council concluded there was not enough evidence to support the move.
Environmental advocates want more protection for river herring and shad - anadromous fish that spend most of their lives at sea but return to freshwater to spawn in the spring.
On December 11, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted to take a proactive approach in how they will handle new fisheries that target forage fish, the small fish like herring that provide a critical link in ocean food webs. In much of U.S. federal waters, new fisheries begin when a market can be found for a new species, and a commercial fishing interest decides to go out and catch it.