NOAA Fisheries Reduces Sub-ACLs for Atlantic Herring Management Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3

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August 22, 2018

NOAA Fisheries is Reducing the Sub-Annual Catch Limits for Atlantic Herring Management Areas 1A, 1B, 2, and 3

Atlantic herring in a basket

NOAA Fisheries is reducing the sub-annual catch limits for the four Atlantic Herring Management Areas for the rest of 2018. These reductions go into effect today (August 22, 2018), and are based on the most recent stock assessment, which shows that the herring stock is in decline due to historic lows in recruitment over the past five years. To prevent overfishing in 2018, the new Management Area sub-ACLs are as follows:

  • Area 1A: 27,743 mt (4,046 mt reduction)
  • Area 1B: 2,639 mt (913 mt reduction)
  • Area 2: 8,200 mt (22,937 mt reduction)
  • Area 3: 11,318mt (32,445 mt reduction)

The total allowable catch for the fishery is 49,900 mt, which is the combined total of the four sub-ACLs. This total is slightly higher than the amount the fishery landed in 2017 (49,072 mt). Herring catch has been declining since 2013, and 2018 landings to date are below that for this time in any year since 2013.

This action is expected to:

  • Result in greater herring biomass than projected under current catch limits;
  • Allow for more herring harvest in 2019-2021 than if this reduction is not implemented, which will help mitigate economic impacts on the industry.

To get all the details on these management changes, read the interim final rule as published in the Federal Register, and the permit holder bulletin on our website.

We are accepting comments through September 21, 2018.

Please submit comments either through the online e-rulemaking portal or by mailing your comments to: Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive,Gloucester, MA, 01930.

Please mark the outside of the envelope, "Comments on Atlantic Herring 2018 ACL Adjustments."


Fishermen: Contact Dan Luers, Regional Office, at 978-282-8457
Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-9175