Public opinion sought on herring regulations



DANVERS, Mass. — Public comment is being accepted through April 30 on federal regulations governing the Atlantic Herring fishery. The New England Fishery Management Council has a public hearing planned today on its Atlantic Herring ABC Control Rule, an amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the species. The Council is proposing to establish a long-term control rule for satisfying acceptable biological catch (ABC) for the herring fishery, intended to prevent overfishing.

“The long-term management of forage fish in an ecosystem context depends on evaluating the tradeoffs between their direct market value and other ecosystem-related values,” the council’s scoping document says. “Herring provide forage for commercially-valuable fish like Atlantic cod and bluefin tuna, recreationally-valuable species like striped bass, and many protected species and seabirds. The Atlantic herring fishery is an important commercial fishery, providing food for export and a primary bait for the highly-valuable American lobster fishery as well as recreational fisheries.”

Two more hearings are planned: a webinar April 6 at 6 p.m. and hearing April 20 at the Hilton hotel in Mystic, Conn.

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