Council Moves Forward
on Localized Depletion
by Laurie Schreiber
MYSTIC, Conn.—Although the nature and extent of the “localized depletion” of herring is uncertain, there’s a consensus among many herring fishermen, fishermen of predator species such as bluefin tuna, and other interested parties such as whalewatch companies and environmentalists, that it’s occurring and must be addressed.
The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) moved forward on the discussion at their April meeting when it accepted a problem statement that formed a foundation for discussion, with the ultimate goal of developing a process for determining the extent of the problem, and then solutions to the problem in Amendment 8 to the Herring Management Plan.
The statement reads:
“Scoping comments for Amendment 8 identified concerns with concentrated, intense commercial fishing of Atlantic herring in specific areas and at certain times that may cause detrimental socioeconomic impacts on other user groups (commercial, recreational, ecotourism) who depend upon adequate local availability of Atlantic herring to support business and recreational