“Localized Herring Depletion” Draws Widespread Attention
by Laurie Schreiber
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—Localized depletion of Atlantic herring has drawn the attention of thousands of people, who asked the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) to address the issue in Amendment 8 to the herring management plan.
NEFMC received communications from 468 people. And 28,000 people signed three form letters; 1,300 of them provided comments.
At its January meeting, NEFMC defined localized depletion as “a reduction of population size, independent of the overall status of the stock, over a relatively small spatial area as a result of intensive fishing.”
Scoping comments for Amendment 8 identified concerns with concentrated, intense commercial fishing of Atlantic herring in specific areas and at certain times that has caused detrimental socioeconomic impacts on other user groups—commercial, recreational, and ecotourism—that depend on adequate local availability of herring to support business and recreational interests both at sea and on shore.