CONTACT:
Doug Grout : (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
September 4, 2009

Additional Landing Day Allowed for Atlantic Herring Harvesters

DURHAM, N.H. - Allowable landing days for commercial harvest of Atlantic herring in Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Management Area 1A will be increased from 2 to 3 days per week for the month of September.

According to the ASMFC Notice issued today, poor weather conditions have caused lower than expected catch rates and the current harvest is around 6,000 metric tons less than predicted.  In order to provide fishermen with an opportunity to more fully utilize the June through September Area 1A quota for Atlantic herring, the allowable landing days will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays until further notice.

The restriction will remain in effect throughout September 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.

Commissioners will hold a 'days out' conference call on September 17, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. to determine of further adjustments are needed to the number of landing days during the remainder of the year.  The public is invited to join the call and public comment will be taken as time permits.  To join, please call (866)-931-7845 and enter 126951 as the conference code. 

These restrictions are in accordance with the ASMFC Atlantic Herring Management Plan.  One of the plan provisions addresses the need to control "effort" (fishing days) in the fishery to prevent commercial fishermen from exceeding the total allowable catch for each management area and to prevent management areas from having to be closed early.  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. Effort controls to extend the fishery may be implemented by states involved in the herring fishery through landing restrictions.

An exception 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. 

Fishermen are also reminded that the Area 1A herring spawning area closure off of New Hampshire is scheduled to go into effect September 21 and continue until October 19, 2009

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

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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