New England Fisheries

Council Delivers Blow to River Herring in New England

Fisheries managers should take an ecosystem-based approach, including protection for forage fish like these river herring. Photo credit: Mike Laptew

This post provides an update to our readers following last week’s post, River Herring at Risk in New England Waters.

The New England Fishery Management Council voted in favor of increasing river herring catch caps at its September 2015 meeting, held in Plymouth, MA last week. The Council’s extensive discussions regarding the proposed catch cap increases reflected concerns about imperiled river herring stocks throughout Southern New England and the associated need to employ a precautionary approach. Nevertheless, despite a variety of alternative proposals set forth by Council members throughout their debate, the Council ultimately selected the cap increases as its preferred path forward.

The Council will submit its recommendation to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration later this fall. NOAA must then decide whether to approve the proposed river herring catch cap increases. We implore the agency to consider the historic and growing declines in the region’s river herring stocks as it evaluates the catch caps and finalizes the next chapter in river herring management.


Mandy Helwig Staff Attorney for Conservation Law Foundation

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