The inshore waters of the Gulf of Maine from Cape Cod to the Canadian border have been closed to herring fishing through the end of the year to prevent overharvesting.
Federal regulators cut this year's catch limit for Atlantic herring based on last year’s stock assessment. Kirby Rootes-Murdy, with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, says regulations mandate that the fishery must be closed when 92% of the area catch limit has been harvested.
“There is a by-catch allowance, which is the non-directed fishery,” says Rootes-Murdy. “Two thousand pounds can be taken incidentally, but the directed fishery is closed.”
Herring are economically important in New England because they are used as lobster bait.
No herring fishing is allowed in the area from Jan. 1 to May 31, but Rootes-Murdy says managers voted to reopen the inshore Gulf of Maine herring fishery after Jun