Important news, press releases, and reports from the CHOIR Coalition.
Trawlers clean out coastal herring
June 02, 2014
Like many who represent Cape and Islands fishermen, Alex Friedman, the president of the Dukes County Fishermen's Association, started getting calls a week ago that eight large vessels, operating in pairs, were towing large nets the size of football f
Big win on the herring accountability front
April 25, 2014
As you know, we have been working hard to bring about better accountability in the herring fishery for many years. After much hard work, we had won a big battle in June 2012 when the NEFMC voted in favor of many new rules in Herring Amendment 5 that
Fallout follows after herring protection rejected
August 12, 2013
A plan to protect the important Atlantic herring from what many believe is its biggest threat has been shelved indefinitely after years of work devising it - and even after winning support from the very vessels being targeted. Last month, f
Additional comments needed!
July 10, 2013
The second comment period on Herring Amendment 5 will be coming to a close at 11:59 pm on July 18th. This proposed rule, if fully implemented, will help ensure better herring management. Please help us on this effort and send in a comment if you hav
Important comment period on Amendment 5!
June 16, 2013
After many years of hard work, Herring Amendment 5 is now in the final stages of development. Comments are needed now!
Odd alliance is formed over access to herring
July 03, 2012
The issue at hand was about 30 large boats that use nets as big as a football field to scoop up hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring, a cheap fish often used for bait. Called midwater trawlers, they fish at a much higher volume than the purse s
Large New England Herring Boats to Carry Monitors
June 22, 2012
New England fishing regulators on Wednesday moved to determine whether herring trawlers, with their massive nets and stunning efficiency, are wiping out Atlantic herring and doing lasting damaging to other struggling northeastern species. The herrin
CHOIR submits letter signed by over 650 groups and businesses
June 13, 2012
In advance of final decisions on Herring Amendment 5, CHOIR has submitted a sign on letter signed by over 650 groups and businesses asking for key changes to the herring management plan
Prince Edward Island fishermen fighting midwater trawlers
April 08, 2012
ALBERTON The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association is continuing to apply pressure in hopes of convincing federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield there's too much at stake in allowing seiners to fish for herring with midwater trawls. "Herring are the q
Some say New England herring at risk from trawlers
April 01, 2012
New England's historic fishing industry doesn't spare much of its romance for the herring. The tiny fish is, at most, a foot long. The price per pound often won't even buy 12 minutes at a Boston parking meter. Some people eat it pickled, but herrin
Cape fishermen decry herring shortage
March 05, 2012
The National Marine Fisheries Service had planned to hit a fleet of large vessels that catch Atlantic herring with big quota cuts this year for going way over their allowed catch in 2010 in an area off Cape Cod. But a procedural glitch delayed actio
Amendment 5 Public Hearing Schedule Announced!!
February 16, 2012
The New England Fishery Management Council has published the Amendment 5 public hearings schedule!
Pair trawling raises concern among fishermen
February 05, 2012
Officials are considering a ban on herring pair-trawling in state waters. Galilee fishermen have called the vessels, most which approach the state’s maximum 165-foot commercial fishing vessel limit, too large and incompatible with the
Critical Amendment 5 meeting on the 29th!
September 02, 2011
We wanted to put out an initial notice about a very important meeting that will be taking place on Thursday, September 29th. The meeting will be in Danvers, MA, at the CoCo Key Resort and Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Ferncroft) located on 50 Ferncrof
Monitoring crucial to herring Amd. 5
August 26, 2011
Despite what some herring interests would have the public believe, the efforts to better manage midwater trawling are not the result of some environmental group initiative. You would be hard pressed to find a fisherman in the Northeast who does not
Amendment 5 update, Haddock bycatch
May 05, 2011
Amendment 5 Update
February 14, 2011
It has been a little while since we updated everyone on the status of the development of Amednment 5 and so here is where things are at: As you know, this amendment process has been underway for quite some time now. While the Council decided to prio
Important Council meeting on Wednesday
January 24, 2011
On Wednesday the NEFMC will be having an important discussion regarding Herring Amendment 5. The meeting will begin at 10:30 and will be at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH.
Fishermen decry impact of midwater trawlers
October 02, 2010
Local fishermen have another bone to pick with the mid-water trawler fleet. They’ve long accused the boats, which are up to 150-feet long, of depleting local resources through their bycatch of everything from haddock to river herring to cod.
CAI Comments due by the 7th!
October 01, 2010
Just a reminder that comments on the Closed Area I issue are due by October 7th!
Closed Area I Rule comment period opens
September 08, 2010
On Tuesday NMFS published a call for public comments in the Federal Register regarding discard provisions for the rule allowing midwater trawlers into Closed Area I (CAI).
CHOIR submits letter signed by over 440 groups and businesses
August 05, 2010
CHOIR submits Amendment 5 sign-on letter with over 440 signatories urging managers to put in place an effective monitoring system in the herring fishery
May 17 Herring Committee Meeting summary
June 01, 2010
Here is a quick summary of the NEFMC Herring Committee meeting that took place on May 17th in Portsmouth. This meeting was primarily devoted to the discussion of the river herring bycatch portion of Amendment 5. As you know, one of the priorities s
CHOIR Memo addressing dumping
May 01, 2010
CHOIR submits Monitoring Memo to Herring Committee offering suggestions for possible monitoring solutions.
March Herring Committee meeting summary
April 22, 2010
As you know, the NEFMC Herring Committee met on the 30th and 31st of March to discuss Herring Amendment 5, specifically the Catch Monitoring alternatives. Sorry for the delayed update but I wanted to wait until Lori put together the Committee's draft
Good monitoring imperative in herring count
March 31, 2010
In recent months there has been a lot discussion about the large quota cuts in the Atlantic herring fishery that took place this winter. While many fishermen in this region have little doubt that much of the problem was caused by the big midwater tra
Upcoming OSC meetings, CHOIR Comment
March 18, 2010
First, a reminder that there are a couple important meetings coming at the end of the month. As you know, the Committee spent most of 2009 working on Amendment 5 but then in October it took some time off to work on Amendment 4, which just finish
Amendment 4 meetings, decisions
February 15, 2010
Last week the Council and Herring Committee met to develop the final measures in Amendment 4. As you know, Amendment 4 was initially where the Council was going to deal with monitoring, groundfish closed areas, river herring, mackerel fishery interac
Herring stakeholders: Better catch info needed
January 23, 2010
PORTLAND — Few people attended the New England Fishery Management Council's three hearings on Amendment 4 to the Herring Fishery Management Plan earlier this month. But those few who did had plenty to say. NEFMC also received a dozen letters and em
Amendment 4 Public Hearings
January 02, 2010
The New England Fishery Management Council will be holding three public hearings for Amendment 4 during the first half of January
Council Makes Quota Decisions: 11/17 Meeting summary
November 26, 2009
The NEFMC met yesterday in Newport, RI, and spent the entire day discussing herring and herring related issues. Some very important decisions were made at this meeting, including the final decisions on the quota issue. Here is the meeting summary:
Herring limits a make-or-break for fishery
November 25, 2009
As a commercial groundfish and tuna fisherman, my livelihood is directly related to the health of the herring resource. The groundfish fishery is highly dependent on herring. Cod, haddock, pollock and other species that support our fishery all feed
11/10 OSC/Section Meeting, SSC Conference Call summaries
November 17, 2009
In the past couple weeks there have been multiple important meetings/discussions regarding the Specs process for herring- an 11/10 Herring OSC/Herring Section meeting and an 11/12 SSC Conference call.
Big problems surround regulations for preserving a little fish
November 16, 2009
I am a fifth-generation fisherman from Maine and have been fishing for groundfish and lobsters for over 20 years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the lobster fishery grew and thrived with herring bait supplied by local herring fishermen using gear lik
Herring health of utmost importance
November 13, 2009
As a tuna fisherman, I know all too well how important Atlantic herring are as a forage stock in the Gulf of Maine. Bluefin tuna travel thousands of miles to come here and feed during the summer and fall. While these tuna will eat many different spec
10/6 Joint Herring Committee/Herring Section Meeting Summary; Upcoming Meetings
October 20, 2009
The NEFMC Herring Committee and the ASMFC Sea Herring Section had a joint meeting on October 6th in Portland, Maine, to discuss the Herring Specifications (Specs) for 2010-2012. As previously mentioned here, there has been some major developments ove
9/16 SSC Meeting, 9/17 NEFMC Herring Committee Meeting, 9/23 NEFMC Meeting
October 05, 2009
There have been a bunch of important herring meetings lately, with a lot of important developments. Below are short summaries of these meetings.
Summary from August 24th Herring Committee meeting
September 01, 2009
Summary from the NEFMC Herring Oversight Committee meeting held in Portland, ME
Whale of a Show
August 24, 2009
Herring fishing ban linked to increase in sightings offshore
Prey For All
August 12, 2009
But this summer things have looked like they had 10 years ago before the bait problems began. This is the third summer of the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only rule that prohibits midwater trawling in the inshore Gulf of Maine (Area 1A) from June 1st throu
Bluefin Surge: Best season start in years.
July 10, 2009
The harpoon fishery for bluefin tuna was on fire during the beginning of June, raising hopes for a good commercial season for the first time in a long time.
NEFMC Meeting Results, Amendment is split
June 25, 2009
As you know, the NEFMC met yesterday in Portland and spent the entire day discussing herring. There were some important decisions made at the meeting and so I wanted to try and fill you all in quickly incase you did not make it.
Come to the NEFMC Herring Meeting on Tuesday!
June 20, 2009
Come to the New England Fishery Management Council meeting for the all day herring discussion!
Summary of June Herring Committee Meeting
June 11, 2009
As many of you know, last week (Thursday/Friday), the NEFMC Herring Committee met in Portland, Maine, to continue working on Herring Amendment 4. This Amendment has been underway for well over a year now- and was actually initiated in November of
2009 Area 1A Effort Reduction Provisions announced
May 26, 2009
Section members from the States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts discussed 2009 Area 1A effort controls at a meeting in Durham NH on May 21st 2009.
Council Votes for 100% Observer Coverage, No Dumping
April 08, 2009
Today the New England Fishery Management Council voted to require 100% observer coverage and no dumping for midwater trawlers in closed areas.
Herring fleet's monitoring shouldn't be one size fits all
April 01, 2009
Over the last decade, fishermen in New England have been concerned about the monitoring system in the Atlantic herring fishery. Many of us feel that this system has been entirely inadequate and as a result managers have not had the data they need to
More support for Monitoring Alternative 3
April 01, 2009
While there are currently four alternatives, I feel that one of these- Alternative 3- has a lot of promise and I hope the managers will decide upon this alternative when the time comes.
Update: 3/24 Herring Committee Meeting
March 26, 2009
On Tuesday the NEFMC Herring Committee met in Portland, Maine. This meeting was one of a handful that have been undertaken over the last year as the Council continues to work on Herring Amendment 4. At the meeting they spent a lot of time on the AC
Good News: CHOIR Monitoring Proposal included
January 30, 2009
On Wednesday the NEFMC Herring Committee met to, among other things, craft recommendations for management alternatives for inclusion in Herring Amendment 4.
CHOIR Monitoring Proposal
December 15, 2008
Recently, the New England Fishery Management Council requested input from stakeholders on how to monitor the herring fishery. See CHOIR's proposal.
Important River Herring Public Hearings
November 30, 2008
Reminder: Important ASMFC River Herring Public Hearings
Haddock bycatch upsets groundfishermen
November 04, 2008
Lobstermen up and down the coast of Maine this month reported finding large amounts of haddock mixed in their herring bait.
October Council Herring discussion report
October 18, 2008
At the October NEFMC meeting in Mystic, CT, the Council discussed herring amendment 4. Here is the Council's report for the discussion.
Important Herring Committee Meetings 9/30-10/1
September 20, 2008
There will be two important NEFMC Herring Commitee Meetings at the end of the month, on 9/30 and 10/1.
Lack of midwater trawls helps New England stocks
August 03, 2008
I can say without a doubt that in my 30+ years of commercial fishing I have never seen a rule do so much good in such a time. The rule has brought back to life the valuable inshore grounds and the fisheries that rely on them.
Joint Herring OS/AP Meeting on July 30th
July 28, 2008
Joint Herring Oversight Committee/Advisory Panel Meeting on July 30th in Portland Maine
Maine Governor's Top Choice for Fishery Council Cast Aside by NOAA
July 01, 2008
The recent appointment of a lobbyist for the industrial herring fleet to the Maine seat on the New England Fishery Management Council has created a wave of concern about fisheries up and down the region.
Important: Herring Amendment 4 Scoping Period!
April 27, 2008
The NEFMC has put out the scoping document for Herring Amendment 4 and has scheduled four scoping meetings around the coast for the public to comment.
2008 Effort Reduction Provisions
April 10, 2008
Notice to Atlantic Herring Fishery: Days out and other effort reductions in Area 1A for 2008 season
The Phantom of the Menu: Chatham Cod
April 02, 2008
"We don't catch herring, we don't sell herring, but all the fish that our fishermen depend on eat the herring,” he said. "It is the linchpin. Bluefin tuna, striped bass, cod and haddock: all these things eat herring..."
Herring spawning area analysis continues
March 29, 2008
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Atlantic Herring Technical Committee needs clearer goals and objectives and more data to properly evaluate how well the current "zero tolerance" spawning closures for sea herring are working.
"Far from a dead issue: midwater trawlers still create stir"
February 26, 2008
Even after two years of arrests, protests and court orders, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was still prepared last fall to allow mid-water trawlers in the waters off eastern P.E.I.
Guest view: Bycatch from midwater gear hurts fish stocks
February 23, 2008
Opinion piece from Gloucester groundfisherman regarding the herring fishery and the issue of groundfish interactions with midwater trawl gear
NEFMC Herring Committee Meeting on 3/26
February 15, 2008
New England Fishery Management Council's Herring Committee to meet to discuss upcoming amendment to the herring plan
'Wild Chronicles' video on herring
February 11, 2008
Watch this video from National Geographic's 'Wild Chronicles' on the herring fishery
2007 Herring Landings (preliminary)
January 02, 2008
Landings for the 2007 fishing year by area, according to NOAA
Island women join fishermen's fight against herring trawlers
December 06, 2007
A women's organization has taken a major role in the battle by Prince Edward Island fishermen to keep two large herring trawlers out of the island's inshore waters.
Area 1A quota at 100%
November 28, 2007
100% of Area 1A seasonal quota reported
Gloves Come Off Over Groundfish
November 12, 2007
Based on questionable decisions, though, massive herring midwater trawlers have been allowed to fish in these areas despite towing larger nets, with smaller mesh, at a higher speed than any groundfish vessels are capable of.
Ban brings boom to inshore herring
November 12, 2007
"The quantity of fish is the highest I've seen for years, and I credit the controls on mid-water trawlers. Without them hauling up everything, there’s a chance for more fish to move up the coast."
Myth: Midwater trawl observer data is reliable
November 10, 2007
The midwater trawl lobby wants you to believe that their vessels have sufficient observer coverage...you be the judge.
Council makes the right decision
November 09, 2007
At its meeting in Newport on Wednesay, the New England Fishery Managment Council chooses to address herring managment in 2008
Herring to be under the microscope in 2008
November 08, 2007
Regional fishing regulators voted 9 to 8 on Wednesday to make Atlantic herring one of six management priorities for 2008.
Herring fishery needs attention now
November 06, 2007
Many Mainers who make their living from the sea think we know the answer. Over the summer, mid-water trawlers (vessels between 100 and 165 feet long) were prohibited from towing their nets -- as wide as a football field and as tall as a six-story bui
Big Bluefin Behavior
October 24, 2007
Lessons learned from hunting giants
Fishermen Seek to Ban Herring Trawlers from Groundfish Hotspots
October 13, 2007
Groundfish fishermen petition to protect Groundfish Closed Areas from midwater trawlers
Help in the fight to get herring prioritized in 2008!
October 11, 2007
Help CHOIR in its fight to get the NEFMC to make herring a priority in 2008
Maine herring fishery is now compliant with ASMFC spawning regulation
September 24, 2007
The Maine Department of Marine Resources has passed 'zero tolerance' spawning regulations for Atlantic herring that will bring Maine into compliance with all spawning restriction provisions of the FMP for Atlantic Herring.
NMFS announces problems with landings reporting in herring fishery
September 16, 2007
NMFS announces that there are major problems with monitoring and reporting in the herring fishery
Hip Deep in Herring
September 11, 2007
Proponents credit a summerlong ban on midwater trawling in the Gulf of Maine for a resurgence of sea life from herring to whales.
Herring Fishery's Monitoring Mishap
August 31, 2007
Recent events regarding the monitoring of the herring fleet reinforce concerns over the ability of NMFS to effectivlely monitor the herring fishery.
Scientists ask: where have all the dolphins gone?
August 23, 2007
Martin singled out French "pair trawlers" that sweep the ocean with huge nets twice the size of a football pitch strung out between them as being especially lethal to the marine mammals.
Herring and their predators reoccupying Area 1A after trawler ban
August 18, 2007
Tuna, whales, birds, groundfish, porpoise and everything else that relies on herring are back. In the minds of most fishermen in this region, there is no denying why.
Maine working to comply with ASMFC Rules
August 17, 2007
Fishermen and managers in Maine work to get the state back into compliance with spawning rules.
Herring landings by area, through 8/04
August 09, 2007
Herring landings (IVR) by Area, through 8/04/2007
Tunas follow the food fish to Canada
August 02, 2007
Yes, bluefins are overfished by some nations. But that's not the sole reason they grow scarcer off our coast.
Herring landings by Area, through 7/28
July 28, 2007
Herring landings (IVR) by Area, through 7/28/2007
Maine DMR Advisory Council votes not to comply with ASMFC Spawning closures
July 10, 2007
Maine Department of Marine Resources Advisory Panel votes not to comply with new spawning regualtions meant to protect spawning herring.
'07 Bluefin season starts on optimistic note
July 04, 2007
Fishermen began the first weekend of the 2007 bluefin tuna season with a bang. The fishery, which opened on June 1, saw four fish landed in Gloucester and 11 more landed in the southern Maine ports of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, and York.
Solution to shortage: don't export herring
June 25, 2007
The real threat to the bait market isn't the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only Area, but rather the export market that these vertically integrated, multinational corporations that own the industrial midwater fleet have developed. The export market takes b
6/20 USAP discussion and the need to prioritize herring.
June 24, 2007
NEFMC delays the discussion until November; Overwhleming support shown for making herring a priority next year.
Members of New England Congressional delegation support observers on herring trawlers
June 11, 2007
Members of Congress from New England speak up in support of increased funding for observer coverage on herring midwater trawlers.
Herring fishery greatly exceeds inshore quota in May
June 10, 2007
The herring fishery caught far more fish inshore in May than it is supposed to; takes 8,264 metric tons (quota is 5,000 mt).
CHOIR Announces New Leadership
May 31, 2007
CHOIR Press Release
May 30, 2007
Tell the managers that you want changes in how the herring fishery is managed!
Pictures added to Gallery...
May 19, 2007
For Maine's alewives, the possibilities are as large as the threats
May 10, 2007
Alewives mingle with other species like blueback and Atlantic herring, subjecting them to the high volume catches of some of the largest fishing vessels in the region as well as natural predation from fish such as striped bass, which have...
NEFMC Pelagics Committee votes unanimously in favor of USAP observer motion
May 03, 2007
Pelagics Committee addresses need for observers on USAP vessels in the herring and mackerel fisheries.
NMFS sets 2007-2009 specs
May 01, 2007
After reviewing those comments, NMFS published a rule in the Federal Register on April 10 announcing the final specifications, which didn't change at all from what the agency proposed back in January.
Observer Requirements for At-Sea Processors
April 25, 2007
Memorandum from NEFMC Chairman John Pappalardo to the NEFMC Pelagics Oversight Committee regarding discussion of USAP May 3rd Committee meeting.
Herring Landings by Area, through 4/14/07
April 23, 2007
IVR Landings (as reported) by area though April,14,2007
Fishermen Ask Congress For More Fisheries Observers On Midwater Trawl Fleet
April 17, 2007
Diverse Coalition of Fishing and Ecotourism Interests Calls for More Money to Observe Herring Trawlers
NMFS announces final specifications for the herring fishery (2007-2009)
April 10, 2007
Today NMFS published the final rule for the specifications for the Atlantic herring fishery for fishing years 2007-2009...
Processor vessel and lobstermen
April 09, 2007
Lobstermen are casting a wary eye toward the American Freedom, a 380-foot factory ship that...
Herring: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
April 05, 2007
Lexi Krause, life long fisherman said that over the last 20 years he sees changes in the GOM. He sees it on the surface and his color scanner. The herring are not schooling, no herring no tuna. The cod have big yellow heads, small bodies...
Backers: Inshore herring trawling ban will aid groundfish stocks
March 28, 2007
A new ban on inshore trawling for herring that will begin this summer will help struggling groundfish stocks by keeping more herring around for them to feed on, supporters of the move said.
Atlantic herring fishery facing new rules
March 25, 2007
The National Marine Fisheries Service this month published new rules that will ban mid-water trawling for herring in the Gulf of Maine close to the coastlines of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Only purse seining, a more traditional type of n
Story Didn't Cut Through Smokescreen
March 22, 2007
I am a tuna fisherman from Maine and was disappointed by Stephen Rappaport's story on the herring fishery ["New Herring Fishery Restrictions a Concern for Maine Lobstermen," Ellsworth American, March 15] and especially how it pertains to lobster bait
Herring Final Rule Eliminates Midwater Trawlers from Inshore
March 16, 2007
CHOIR Press Release
Lobstermen speak in favor of midwater ban
March 09, 2007
At the Maine Fishermen's Forum, lobstermen show continued support for purse seiner/fixed gear only 'buffer zone' in the Gulf of Maine
NMFS publishes rule for herring amendment 1!!
March 09, 2007
NOAA/NMFS finally publishes herring rule!
Good News from ECTA
March 07, 2007
Show your support for increased observer coverage in the herring midwater trawl fleet!
February 22, 2007
SAMPLE LETTER to Congress
Herring Seminar Kicks Off Fishermen's Forum
February 22, 2007
This year, the forum will open with an all-day seminar considering the complex issues involved in the herring fishery in the Gulf of Maine. The seminar is sure to evoke some strong opinions.
Herring health on fishermen's plate
February 20, 2007
Another issue with a wide-ranging impact on fisheries, the future of herring, will be tackled in all-day discussion on Thursday, March 1.
Newest addition to the herring fleet
February 17, 2007
At an impressive 164-by-40-by-14 feet, the Western Venture is a European design combination of mid-water trawler/purse from which fishermen will be allowed to pull out 50,000 metric tons of food and bait fish for the 2007-2008 fishing year.
CHOIR heads to DC to ask Congress for more observer coverage in the Herring midwater trawl fleet
February 14, 2007
Recently a group from New England headed south to Washington DC to ask Congress to increase funding for the midwater trawl fleet.
Midwater Trawling Concerns Fishermen
February 13, 2007
Canada- A spokesperson for Cape Breton fishermen is fighting to stop four companies from fishing for herring using a method called mid-water trawling.
Herring freezer vessel offers promise, raises concerns
February 01, 2007
American Freedom, a 380-foot freezer vessel that will process both mackerel and herring at sea, left Portland in early January for its shakedown trip to Cape Cod and Long Island.
Area 1A herring TAC may be further slashed
February 01, 2007
The inshore Gulf of Maine herring fishery is about to undergo profound change on several fronts.
Fishermen Want Feds to Keep an Eye on Herring Trawlers
January 29, 2007
Tuna fishermen and lobstermen from Massachusetts and Maine, and the environmental group Conservation Law Foundation, want more observers to monitor the species trawlers catch, including tuna and some marine mammals, along with herring.
Fishing Observers Seek Funding Increase from Congress
January 25, 2007
Show me the money. That's the message a group of tuna fishermen and lobstermen from Maine and Massachusetts who traveled to Washington, D.C., asked members of Congress this week.
Fishermen Asking Congress to Keep an Eye on Herring Boats
January 24, 2007
Commercial fishermen from Massachusetts and Maine headed to Washington, D.C., yesterday to convince members of Congress that more observers are needed aboard midwater herring trawlers to monitor how many and what types of fish they catch.
NMFS Proposed Rule 2007-2009 Herring Specs
January 10, 2007
Proposed Rule Published today in Federal Register
Trawler Limits Protect Herring
January 04, 2007
The recent adoption of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan will prohibit the trawler fleet from entering inshore Gulf of Maine waters between June 1 and Sept. 30, the critical period when herring are schooled over spawning gro
December 17, 2006
Sports fishermen, whale-watching companies and tuna fishermen worry that the
The Herring fishery does NOT have "Hard TACs"
December 16, 2006
Herring midwater trawler lobbyists like to say at just about every single meeting that their fishery has "Hard TACs"...what happened this year in Area 1B than?
Miss Laney Might Be A Giant Next Year
December 09, 2006
"I couldn't compete with the big trawlers," Palino said. The herring regulations also made his operation more expensive and difficult. "I had to put on a vessel monitoring system to fish in state waters. This cost me $6,000 up front and $300 a month
Freezer ship to unload in city
December 08, 2006
"We had an unaccountable fleet with big ships and they destroyed the stock," Mr. Baker said. "We need accountability."
November 28, 2006
Watch Valery Lyman's recent documentary on the herring midwater trawl fleet. Includes great footage of midwater pair trawlers, and information.
Saving the Atlantic Herring
November 10, 2006
CHOIR Chair on NPR speaking about the impact of midwater trawling, pair trawling, and the need for observers in the herring fleet
Herring Midwater Trawl Madness
November 05, 2006
Here's what the herring midwater trawl controversy in the Northeast is all about.
Herring Amendment 1 out for public comment
November 01, 2006
With one exception, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule for Amendment 1 to the federal herring plan containing all the provisions developed by the New England Fishery Management Council.
On The Water supports CHOIR
November 01, 2006
Only through proactive groups like CHOIR will both recreational and commercial fishermen throughout New England and the world enjoy a balanced and managed marine ecosystem for years to come.
High stakes provoke intense herring debate
November 01, 2006
Concerned about the inshore Gulf of Maine component of the Atlantic herring resource, the New England Fishery Management Council endorsed a 10,000 metric ton (mt) reduction in the Area 1A quota for the next three fishing years.
Local Lobstermen Suffer Equipment Losses Great and Small
October 12, 2006
On the night of October 2, several area lobstermen lost gear, some upwards of 40 traps a piece. According to Maine Marine Patrol records, a total of 164 traps belonging to 11 local lobstermen were lost around the waterway known as Damariscove tow.
Record Six-Month Exports of U.S. Frozen Mackerel to EU Eclipse 2005 Sales
October 01, 2006
Sales of frozen mackerel from the United States, mainly
Council Votes to Protect Herring Inshore
September 29, 2006
CHOIR Press Release
NE Fishery Council Sets Herring Fishing Limits in the Gulf of Maine
September 29, 2006
NEFMC News Release
United in support: CHOIR 'sign on' letter to NMFS regarding passage of the 1A Buffer Zone, etc.
September 28, 2006
An unprecedented amount of cooperation is seen here as the region's commercial fishermen bind with the recreational fishing industry and other marine industries (whalewatchers, etc) reliant on herring
Caution is Warranted in the Herring Fishery
September 24, 2006
Herring is a humble fish. Not large or particularly meaty, it's sought after chiefly as lobster bait or kippered snacks.
East Coast Pelagic Association is no more
September 18, 2006
ECPA News Release-Herring trawl association dissolved
The Issue of Bycatch
September 01, 2006
"If fisheries managers are going to rebuild New England's legendary populations of cod, flounder and haddock we need to be able to account for all of the fish and other ocean wildlife that is killed as bycatch in our fisheries.
Herring Coverage misses mark
August 01, 2006
But even more important, the lobster fleet is going to pay the biggest price in all of this. Right now, the guys from Perkins Cove cannot even find bait.
ASMFC wants 'zero tolerance' herring closures
July 01, 2006
Back in January, the section voted to include a "zero tolerance" provision in Amendment 2 to its herring plan that prohibits vessels from fishing for, taking, landing, or possessing herring during a spawning closure.
Lobstermen and Midwater Trawlers Meet
June 01, 2006
After the first of the year, all midwater trawlers will be banned from the inshore areas in the Gulf of Maine. Some fishermen were concerned that the trawlers would make a "last chance" haul inshore this season that might further jeopardize what the
Fishermen, Regulators Brace for Spring Herring Moratorium
March 17, 2006
"When you tow and bring 100,000 pounds of alewives out of the water, they are gone. There are no herring in Massachusetts because they are caught offshore."
Lessons Learned From Herring Amendment 1
February 06, 2006
As CHOIR's Rich Ruais testified at a May 2005 meeting of the herring oversight committee, "They walked away from us on that. Absolutely no help whatsoever. We repeatedly had meetings whether it was in Rockland, ME or
NE Fishery Council Limits Access to the Herring Fishery
February 01, 2006
NEFMC News Release
Fishery shut to mackerel trawlers (UK)
January 20, 2006
The Scottish Executive has taken the decision as a precaution while it investigates overfishing. It is hoped they can re-open later in the year.
NE council OKs herring limited-access; 4-month midwater trawl ban in 1A
December 01, 2005
HYANNIS, MA The Northeast region's Atlantic herring fleet will undergo profound change as it begins responding to a brand new limited-access program expected to be implemented in early 2007.
November 07, 2005
Check out CHOIR's full page ad in support of Alternative 7 in the November issue of Commercial Fisheries News!
Herring Alternative 7 focus of public hearing in Maine
November 01, 2005
Dozens arrive to show concern over the midwater trawl fleet for herring and the need for inshore buffer zones free of midwater trawlers.
November 01, 2005
In recent years, New England’s tuna fishermen have led the formation of the CHOIR: Coalition fighting against industrial mid-water trawling for herring. The CHOIR Coalition was formed by fishermen in 2002, “to advocate for the responsible developmen
Support Alternative 7!
October 17, 2005
Public comments in support of Alternative 7 are due by October 24, 2005. The following letter may be submitted or used as an example to write your own comments.
Fishermen Demand Better Management of Atlantic Herring
October 16, 2005
Commercial fishermen and the CHOIR Coalition have announced support for Alternative 7 to the Atlantic Herring FMP in order to prevent another one of New Englandâ€™s stocks from diminishing to a dismal state.
Common Dolphin (UK)
October 06, 2005
Common dolphins are often seen in the waters around Guernsey and Alderney. However they are facing problems from pair-trawling.
Haddock Catches Prompt Scrutiny
September 07, 2005
When the Maine Marine Patrol discovered thousands of pounds of baby haddock mixed into the massive herring catch on two fishing vessels last month, it inflamed an already heated battle between New England groundfishermen and the herring trawler indus
Tuna Catch Becomes Leaner
August 22, 2005
Fourteen years worth of records at a Seabrook auction house reveal that tuna aren't eating as well as they used to, says Molly Lutcavage, director of the Large Pelagics Research Lab at UNH. Bluefin are also less abundant.
Bluefin Grading Records Show Quality Decline
August 01, 2005
"A lot of people in the commercial bluefin industry have said they've seen what has appeared to be a decline in the quality of the fish," said Walt Golet, principal scientist in the investigation. "We wanted to take any available data and statistical
Big Herring Victory
July 01, 2005
Although it did not happen as planned, our objective to create a coastal "buffer zone" free of midwater trawling from June 1 to September 30 was seriously advanced on June 21 when the New England Fishery Council voted 10 to 4 to make Alternative 7
NMFS Lifts Haddock Ban on Herring Boats
July 01, 2005
"It's obvious now that they (midwater trawlers) can't distinguish the haddock signature from the herring signature on the machine. Without full-retention, if they run into haddock, they still have the freedom to dump fish," he said
Herring critical to forage base in Gulf of ME
June 01, 2005
PEABODY, MA It's not just bluefin tuna fishermen who are worried that something isn't right in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. Others are becoming increasingly concerned too. Forage fish seem to be absent all too often...
Herring plan could include groundfish limits
June 01, 2005
PEABODY, MA Directed to "reconsider" the use of groundfish bycatch caps in draft Amendment 1 to the herring plan, the New England Fishery Management Council's herring committee spent hours debating the subject during its May 17-18 meeting here.
One Fish- Two Fisheries
June 01, 2005
"If they let these mid-water boats keep fishing in Area 1A [the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Maine from the coast out to around 50 miles] they'll destroy this fishery, and a whole lot more."
Beyond The Nest
May 06, 2005
As the events on Machias Seal Island in 2004 showed, protecting the seabirds' food source may be critical. "We protect their nesting sites," said Fefer. "But the birds won't be there if they don't have any food."
Herring Turf War?
April 01, 2005
It's not often that one fishery calls out another. Most turf wars within the fishery are kept behind closed doors, or restricted to private heads-up style discreet conversations with fishery administrators. But, in an effort to protect their interes
Research key to solving tuna/herring conflict
April 01, 2005
The shift to midwater trawl gear for herring has "had the effect of greatly diminishing the early-season importance of tuna fishing,”"said Ruais.
Charity ship to monitor trawling (UK)
February 17, 2005
The practice of pair trawling involves dragging a huge net between two boats to catch fish but dolphins can accidentally get caught and drown.
Captain of Bunny Clark discusses the midwater trawl issue
February 02, 2005
Since the mid-water trawlers showed up on Jeffrey's Ledge in 1991, the herring populations have declined at an alarming rate. Where before one could tell when they were on Jeffrey's by the enormous schools of herring found there, now, you are lucky t
Bass Pair Trawl Fishery closed (UK)
January 17, 2005
Pair trawling for bass in the south west of England has been demonstrated to have high levels of cetacean by-catch. Sea trials conducted by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) showed that there was no easy technical solution for reducing by-catch lev
Herring Boats Fined, Haddock Hard to Avoid
November 18, 2004
While the federal enforcement agents would not disclose the amount of fish involved in each case, they did note that the three vessels were boarded in port, where they attempted to sell the illegally caught haddock that was mixed with their legal her
THREE FISHING VESSELS PENALIZED $85,000 FOR ILLEGAL CATCH
October 26, 2004
NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Release- Midwater trawlers busted with massive bycatch
Government takes action to help dolphins (UK)
September 29, 2004
The British Government has announced a ban on pair trawling in UK waters. The fishing method has been blamed for killings dolphins around our coast.
Pair trawling for sea bass banned (UK)
September 27, 2004
The government has announced a unilateral ban on pair trawling for seabass effective immediately.
Haddock Bycatch by Herring Trawlers Traps Fisheries Managers
September 01, 2004
The bycatch of juvenile haddock by the herring mid-water trawlers shouldn't be a surprise.
The Evolving Herring Fishery
September 01, 2004
Older fishermen remember when herring spawned all along the coast of Maine. Dense schools crowded the shore, filling the weirs used to trap herring and mackerel. Dories full of seine twine lay ready to shut off the coves when the fish swam in on moon
September 01, 2004
The 46,000 pounds of juvenile haddock caught by two mid-water boats, out of a fleet of 25, could represent a loss of over a million pounds of legal-sized haddock, worth $1.3 million at current prices.
One boat's bycatch is another's real catch
September 01, 2004
Groundfish fishermen should worry that one day their directed catch might be reallocated to the mid-water and pair trawlers to justify their bycatch.
September 01, 2004
The corporate spokesperson seems to imply that it is the haddock's problem for being in the way. Sorry, Ms. Tooley, but this is not a haddock attack. The problem is not the fish the problem is the boats.
April 15, 2004
A drop in fish was also seen along the southeast coast of New England.
Herring in a pickle
January 01, 2004
Big boats with lots of muscle and roving ways could one day precipitate a herring crash if something isn't done to control the relatively unregulated fishery.
Fishing Method Eyed in Mammals' Deaths
October 04, 2003
A controversial fishing method in which a giant net is strung between two boats may be responsible for an unusual number of dead whales off Maine's coast in recent weeks, including two animals that appear to have been lanced by humans, say critics of
Mega-trawlers off Maine are destroying tuna fishery
March 01, 2003
Right now the Gulf of Maine is allowing 200-foot mega-trawlers to midwater trawl for herring. For the last five or so summers, the Gulf of Maine has seen less and less tuna late in the season, and this coincides with the infiltration onto the gulf of
Considering Other Consumers: Fisheries, Predators, and Atlantic Herring in the Gulf of Maine
January 20, 2003
We estimate that the consumption of herring by these upper trophic level predators may have exceeded the estimate of natural mortality used in stock assessment models by more than fourfold in 1991. We suggest that fisheries management must move beyon
Food fish vs. Fish Food
January 01, 2003
Without question, we're impacting predators directly, as the targets of large-scale fishing operations, and indirectly, by diminishing their food supply. Is this kind of ecological squeeze play sustainable? Or could it lead to widespread collapse of
Forage Fish Key to Food Chain
November 03, 1999
Herring was singled out as prey far more often than other forage fish species, leading scientists to believe that when herring populations aren't doing well, seabird and marine mammal populations may not do well either.
Haggling Over Herring
August 01, 1999
"Our gripe is that they [herring midwater trawlers] go from area to area and take the cream," said Lexi Krause, a Monhegan tuna fisherman. "Tuna stay in an area if there are thick concentrations of bait. It hurts us to see these guys 4 or 5 miles...
Whale of a Show
November 30, -0001
Herring fishing ban linked to increase in sightings offshore