Herring Trawlers Pushed Farther Offshore
December 6, 2019
In what is being hailed as a victory by marine conservationists and many recreational and commercial fishermen, federal regulators recently approved an amendment to prohibit midwater herring trawlers from fishing within 12 nautical miles of the coastline from Maine to Rhode Island, and within 20 miles off eastern Cape Cod and the Islands.
Groups such as the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance have long fought to increase regulations on the midwater fleet, which target sea herring. However, in the process, they also catch protected river herring, which have seen a marked decrease in numbers over the last 20 years.
Both species of herring play a critical role in the marine ecosystem by providing a source of food for larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.