National Fisherman


Herring. They go by many names, but the ones you see jumping, pooling and schooling in the runs from Falmouth to Brewster — we have about 10 runs, including some just regular old rivers, strung along our sandbar — are starting to fill up with river herring.
 
Also known as alewives and blueback herring, they are stripers favorite meal.
 
But a total ban in taking them from Massachusetts waterways has been in effect since 2006. The original three-year ban has been twice extended as herring numbers are not bouncing back.
 
In the vast Skagerrak waterway formed between Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as in the larger North Sea, commercial herring fishing thrived since at least the 12th century. Herring were plentiful.
 
And the "new" world was just silly with them, in their vast, uncountable schools, they clogged rivers from the Potomac to the Androscoggin. It was the Wampanoag sharing their secret for corn fertility — planting a few dead herring at the base of a new corn hill — that increased crop yields and helped the Pilgrims through those first difficult years.
 
But like many fish, herring face a veritable Pandora's box of pressure. Habitat degradation, the damming of rivers, overfishing and pollution have cut their numbers drastically, by as much as 95 percent by some esitimates.
 
A chart of their commercial landings from the mid-1960s until today looks like Enron's stock price — just an uninterrupted free fall. The last herring cannery in the United States, up in Maine, shuttered operations in 2010.
 
What is still caught commercially is often ground into meal or used for oil. They draw about half a dollar a pound, frozen solid, for export overseas, mostly to developing countries.
 
Read the full story at the Cape Cod Times>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

Read more...

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

Read more...
Try a FREE issue of National Fisherman

Fill out this order form, If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $14.95 (12 issues in all). If not, simply write cancel on the bill, return it, and owe nothing.

First Name
Last Name
Address
Country
U.S. Canada Other

City
State/Province
Postal/ Zip Code
Email