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High stakes provoke intense herring debate

November 01, 2006

Commercial Fisheries News
Novemeber 2006
By Janice Plante

PEABODY, MA 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.

The cut–if adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)–would result in a total allowable catch (TAC) of 50,000 mt instead of 60,000 mt for Area 1A from 2007 through 2009. This equates to a reduction of roughly 22 million pounds annually.

In making its decision, the council specified that only 5,000 mt of the 50,000 mt could be harvested during the January-May timeframe. Furthermore, the council made a commitment to conduct a one-year review of all herring specifications to determine whether changes need to be made either up or down following 2007.

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