CONTACT:
Doug Grout : (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
May 28, 2009         

Atlantic Herring Landing Days Announced; Quota Now Allocated by Season

DURHAM, N.H. -- Beginning June 1, 2009, commercial fishermen will be allowed to land Atlantic herring taken from Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Management Area 1A (located in the western half of the Gulf of Maine) on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Harvesters will be prohibited from landing Atlantic herring taken from Management Area 1A from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesdays, to midnight on Sundays. The restriction will remain in effect until 95% of the Total Allowable Catch for the period June through September in Area 1A is projected to be exceeded, or until further amended by the ASMFC Atlantic Herring Section.

"To make sure that some of the quota is left for the fall harvesting season, this year in addition to having an annual quota, a portion of the allowable harvest is allocated for each of two seasons -- June to September, and October to December," said Doug Grout, Chief of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Division.

The landing restriction is in accordance with the ASMFC Atlantic Herring Management Plan, which addresses the need to control "effort" (fishing days) in the fishery to prevent harvesters from exceeding the Total Allowable Catch for each management area, which can trigger early closure. Management Area 1A is of particular concern because in recent years the Total Allowable Catch has been harvested before peak market demands abate in the autumn. States involved in the herring fishery are allowed to extend the fishery by controlling fishing effort through landing restrictions. The goal is to provide a consistent supply of herring to the market by controlling landings, particularly early in the season when herring may be localized in Area 1A.

An exception to the rule is that any vessel may land herring taken as an incidental catch in ASMFC Management Area 1A, up to a maximum of 2,000 pounds. 

For more information about the restriction, call N.H. Fish and Game's Marine Fisheries Division, located in Fish and Game's Region 3 Office in Durham, at (603) 868-1095. 

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission serves as a deliberative body coordinating the conservation and management of the 15 Atlantic coast states' shared near-shore fishery resources for sustainable use. Visit www.asmfc.org.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.  Visit www.wildnh.com/marine.

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