On April 22 in Mystic, Connecticut, the New England Fishery Management Council has another chance to implement the necessary reforms to the Atlantic herring fishery advocated by a variety of stakeholders for many years, and supported by tens of thousands of public comments from people like you. If you've been following our work, you know that two years ago, both the New England and the Mid-Atlantic Councils approved measures to increase observer coverage, discourage the wasteful practice of dumping catch before it is brought aboard, and accurately weigh all catch. NOAA Fisheries rejected these provisions, and for the last nine months, the Councils have been working to revise and resubmit an approvable set of reforms for the herring and mackerel fisheries.
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.
The Herring Alliance works to protect marine wildlife and ecosystems on the Atlantic coast. Join our efforts.
Somewhere out there along our coast, just beyond where rivers hit salt water, thousands of small fish are gathering and making ready for an epic voyage inland. The annual runs of river herring and shad are just weeks away.
Hundreds of people are getting ready, too. They’re the volunteers who will gather at bridges, fish ladders, dams, and riverbanks to count the passing fish—an important exercise in citizen science that builds the databases needed to help conserve these imperiled fish.
The current issue of Eating Well magazine features the Herring Alliance’s Greg Wells in an article about river herring and the Atlantic herring fishery. Wells explained how the industry’s vessels to often scoop up river herring, complicating the effort to restore their depleted populations. Check it out here or pick up a copy!