CONTACT:
Doug Grout: (603) 868-1095 
Clare McBane: (603) 868-1095       
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
September 18, 2008             

Atlantic Herring Spawning Closure Announced;
Public Meeting on Adjustments to Commercial Herring Take Restrictions

DURHAM, N.H. -- Two announcements were made today affecting commercial herring harvesters and dealers: 1) a spawning closure has been established; and 2) a meeting to adjust the allowable "days out" has been set for Wednesday, September 24, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Fisheries Division, 225 Main Street, Durham, N.H.

Under the spawning closure, commercial harvest of Atlantic herring in Management Area 1A, within the jurisdiction of New Hampshire, will be restricted from 12:01 a.m. on September 21 through 12:01 a.m. October 20, 2008.  This spawning closure may be extended if results of the herring samples collected at the end of the closure indicate that 25% or more, by number, of mature female sea herring still contain spawn.

During the spawning closure, all vessels fishing for species other than sea herring are limited to an incidental catch of 2,000 pounds of herring per calendar day, caught in or from the closed management area. Any person, firm or organization properly permitted may land sea herring from areas not under spawning closures, provided they are equipped with a functional vessel monitoring system.

Commercial take of Atlantic herring in Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Management Area 1A has already been restricted through September 28, 2008, by "days out" measures currently in effect. Allowable fishing days for Atlantic herring in Management Area 1A not under spawning area closures during the remaining months of the 2008 season will be discussed by members of the Atlantic Herring Section of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) representing the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts at a meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, at N.H. Fish and Game's Marine Fisheries Division, 225 Main Street, Durham, N.H.  The meeting is open to the public. This meeting will look at adjusting the number of allowable "days out" to keep commercial fishermen from exceeding the total allowable catch for Management Area 1A and to avoid having to close the fishery early. 

For more information about the spawning closure or the public meeting, call N.H. Fish and Game's Region 3 office in Durham at (603) 868-1095. 

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission coordinates the conservation and management of the 15 Atlantic coast states' shared near-shore fishery resources - marine, shell and anadromous - for sustainable use.  Visit http://www.asmfc.org.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  The Department's Marine Fisheries Division is located in Durham, N.H.  Visit www.WildNH.com/marine.

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