Maine Lobstermen to Study Herring

Commercial herring catch. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Herring rest on a dock in Tenet's Harbor, prior to being used as lobster bait. Photo from Gulf of Maine Fishery.

A select group of Maine lobstermen will be helping scientists study herring populations in the Gulf of Maine. The Maine Technology Institute has awarded a $532,000 grant to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland for herring research, according to a report in the Portland Press Herald. For the research project, the crews of 10 lobsterboats will use their sonar equipment to survey coastal waters for herring schools next summer and fall. This will hopefully give scientists and fisheries managers a better idea of the size and health of Gulf of Maine herring stocks.

Herring catch limits in the Gulf of Maine have recently been cut due to scientific uncertainty over the health of the stocks. This has driven up costs for lobstermen, who use the fish as bait.

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