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Environment and Outdoors

Herring Fishing Off Maine To Shut Down For About 2 Months

Herring Boom
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Wednesday, July 8, 2015 photo, herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine. New England fishermen are catching staggering amounts of herring, signaling the rebounding of a fishery that collapsed in the early 2000s. But some conservationists and rival fishermen say the fishery, which is important for both food and bait for tuna and lobsters, is wiping out other fisheries with its massive pelagic trawlers.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Commercial fishing for herring will all but shut down in the inshore Gulf of Maine for about two months to help conserve the species.

Atlantic herring are an important bait fish that are harvested extensively off New England. The fishery has been limited by new restrictions in recent years because of concerns about the health of the fish's population.

Interstate regulators said herring fishing will essentially be shut down in inshore areas off Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire until Sept. 30. They said that's because fishermen are approaching their limits for the quota of the fish.