CONTACT:
John Nelson: (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
November 17, 2003

Commercial Herring Fishery to Close for 2003 in Management Area 1A

DURHAM, N.H. -- The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has projected that 95% of the harvest allocation for Management Area 1A of the commercial Atlantic herring fishery will be reached November 19, 2003. Accordingly, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will close the commercial fishery for herring, effective at 12:01 a.m., November 19, 2003 (Fis 603.07).

At that time, vessels issued federal permits for Atlantic herring may not "fish for, take, land, or offload" more than 2,000 pounds of the fish from Area 1A per trip or calendar day for the remainder of 2003. The commercial herring fishery will reopen on January 1, 2004.

Once a closure has been announced by the Regional Administrator/NMFS, states must prohibit the landing of herring from a closed area and prohibit directed fishing for Atlantic herring in state waters of a closed area. During a closure, vessels participating in other fisheries may retain and land an incidental catch of herring from a closed area that does not exceed 2,000 pounds per trip.

These measures are being imposed to avoid the overharvest of herring and to provide protection for the inshore component of the Atlantic herring stock complex.

Visit the NMFS web site for more information, www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

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