The 2014 commercial herring fishing season hasn’t hit the halfway point, yet bad news has already come calling for the Atlantic herring fishery in the offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has imposed severe restrictions for the remainder of the Atlantic herring season in the federally managed offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine, saying 92 percent of the total allowable catch for this area already has been caught.
Until Dec. 31, vessels holding federal permits for Atlantic herring may retain no more than 2,000 pounds of the fish caught per trip or per day in this section of the Gulf of Maine.
More significantly, vessels holding federal permits will be restricted from any fishing for herring in what NOAA refers to as Area 1B from Jan. 1, 2015, until April 30, 2015.
According to NOAA spokesperson Marjorie Mooney-Seus, herring fishermen still will be allowed to fish in areas south and east of the affected management area, as well as in three other open areas.
The new regulations also restrict dealers from accepting from any vessel more than 2,000 pounds of herring harvested in one day or one trip from the affected management area in the Gulf of Maine.
As of Jan. 1, 2015, those dealers will be precluded from receiving any herring harvested from Area 1B of the Gulf of Maine. That will remain in force until April 30, 2015.