Tagged midwater trawling

A Forward-Thinking Vote for Atlantic Herring and the Ocean Ecosystem

Atlantic herring are swimming victory laps today. Just yesterday, the New England Fishery Management Council passed Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, a landmark decision that should be commended. … More Info »

Local News Outlets Highlight Cape Fishermen’s Frustration with Herring Midwater Trawlers

The New England Fishery Management Council will resume its discussion on localized depletion of Atlantic herring at its meeting tomorrow. If you’re new to the issue of localized depletion, or need a refresher before tomorrow’s discussion (11/17), local Cape Cod news outlets, as well as past Talking Fish posts, have highlighted the concerns of local fishermen leading up to this week’s Council meeting. … More Info »

Court Says Regulators Must Protect Keystone Species from Giant Trawlers

As victims of “bycatch,” river herring and shad populations have dwindled to less than 5 percent of their historic levels. A federal judge issued a ruling that could help protect these two keystone fish species. … More Info »

Fishing Blind

A recent move by New England ocean fisheries management officials to suspend monitoring of commercial fishing vessels is the latest sign of disarray in a program meant to provide reliable, independent information about fishing. … More Info »

Atlantic Forage Fish Need Public Oversight of the Industrial Trawl Fleet

Scientists and fishermen agree that the industrial midwater trawl fleet is taking a toll on many species on the Atlantic Coast. The massive nets of these vessels kill millions of river herring and, increasingly, the juveniles of some commercially important groundfish such as haddock. Unfortunately, an important action to rein in this damage is facing a substantial delay. … More Info »

New England’s Fishing Pathology

The industrial herring fleet recently overshot its quota for the herring management area 1B by some 60%. Sixty percent! That is like driving 104 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. This incident—and particularly the herring fleet’s response to it—are symptomatic of a deeper pathology in some of New England’s fisheries that should not be allowed to just fade away as another bad memory of a poorly managed fishery. … More Info »

Herring Industry’s Abuse of Resource is a Big Deal

Pair trawlers off the coast of Rhode Island

Cape Cod Times writer Doug Fraser correctly reports that the activity of the industrial herring fleet is a very big deal for the other fishermen plying those waters. That’s because the massive nets of the herring trawl vessels once again blew through the quota for this sensitive area, scooping up 160 percent of the allotted catch. This is the third time in six years that the industry has greatly exceeded its quota in the area, known as herring management area 1B. … More Info »

Herring Rally in Rivers but Still Suffer at Sea

On April 6, on Long Island, a video monitor in a special chute of water called a fish passage captured a brief but historic image: the silhouette of an alewife swimming through from the Carlls River to Argyle Lake. A dam built near the near the town of Babylon, NY, had prevented these fish from reaching spawning areas upstream since the 1800s. The little alewife in this picture was the first to swim that route in more than 100 years. … More Info »

And the Beat Goes On

By Capt. Patrick Paquette. Despite over a decade of outcry from both the general public & multiple stakeholder groups within the fishing community, on this coming Thursday the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) will once again be discussing the seemingly never ending question of how to monitor and regulate the very controversial fishing gear known as a “mid water trawl.” Many countries including Canada, with whom we share the Atlantic herring resource, have banned the use of this gear completely. … More Info »

A Big Step for Our Little Fish

In the coming month, members of the New England Fishery Management Council will try to jumpstart a stalled effort to adequately monitor the activity of the midwater trawl vessels that fish for Atlantic herring. The council was jolted into action by a controversial proposal during its last meeting in November when frustrated fishermen proposed a moratorium on midwater trawlers unless all herring vessels operated under the watch of a trained fisheries observer. While this motion failed, the debate it inspired was nothing short of a watershed moment for accountability within forage fisheries in New England. … More Info »