PORTLAND, Maine - Herring fishermen are nearing their quota along New England's coast and the fishery will be shut down until further notice.
The National Marine Fisheries Service says fishermen in the inshore Gulf of Maine have caught about 90 percent of their quota and the fishery was shut down early Tuesday morning. The inshore fishing zone ranges from Cape Cod to the eastern edge of the Maine coast.
Herring are an important bait fish, especially in the lobster fishery. A shortage of the fish in offshore waters caused a bait shortage in New England during the summer.
The fish are also used as food. Fishermen typically catch between 175 million and 200 million pounds of Atlantic herring every year.