NOAA Fisheries Implements Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

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NOAA Fisheries - New England - Mid Atlantic Bulletin

January 8, 2021

NOAA Fisheries Implements Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

NOAA Fisheries is implementing an amendment recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council to establish an Atlantic herring acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule and prohibit the use of midwater trawl gear in inshore waters from Canada to Connecticut.

Acceptable Biological Catch

The ABC control rule is intended to ensure sustainable herring harvest and account for herring’s role as forage in the ecosystem. The control rule sets herring ABC for 3 years, but allows ABC to vary year-to-year with projected estimates of biomass.

Prohibiting Midwater Trawl Gear Inshore

This amendment prohibits the use of midwater trawl gear inshore of the 12-nautical mile territorial sea boundary from the U.S./Canada border to the Connecticut/Rhode Island border and inshore of 20 nautical miles off the east coast of Cape Cod (see map).

The year-round inshore midwater trawl restricted area will reduce midwater trawl vessel overlap with other user groups (i.e., commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, ecotourism) that rely on herring as forage. The restricted area may also reduce catch of river herring and shad, reduce fishing pressure on the inshore herring stock, and help ensure herring are available to predators.


Inshore Midwater Trawl Restricted Area

For more details, please read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register and our fishery bulletin. The rule has an effective date of 02/10/2021.


Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, 978-281-9175

Fishermen: Contact Carrie Nordeen, Regional Office, 978-281-9272