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CONTACT:
Doug Grout : (603) 868-1095
Renee Zobel: (603) 868-1095
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
September 13, 2010                          
    
Area 1B Closed to Commercial Atlantic Herring Harvest as of September 14, 2010

DURHAM, N.H. – As of September 14, 2010, commercial harvesters may not fish for, catch, possess, or land more Atlantic herring (sea herring) in or from Area 1B through midnight, December 31, 2010. This provision does not prevent the landing, offloading, or transport of Atlantic herring harvested from any other Management Area.

An exception to the closure is that vessels may transit or land herring in Area 1B with more than 2,000 pounds of herring on board, provided such herring were not caught in Area 1B, and provided all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use. Vessels participating in other fisheries may possess and land no more than 2,000 pounds of herring from Area 1B.

This catch limit restriction will cease on January 1, 2011, when a new quota becomes available.

"This closure doesn't affect many commercial fishermen in New Hampshire, because most of our harvesters operate primarily in Area 1A, which is not affected by this measure," said Doug Grout, Chief of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Fisheries Division.  "However, it is important that all harvesters and dealers are aware of the closure in 1B."

Amendment 2 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Sea Herring requires states to impose restrictions on the fishery when the harvest of Atlantic herring is projected to reach 95 percent of the total allowable catch allocated to that area. Currently about 95 percent of the 4,362 metric ton Area 1B commercial allotment has been harvested.

Effective September 14, 2010, federally permitted dealers are also advised that they may not purchase Atlantic herring from federally permitted Atlantic herring vessels that harvest more than 2,000 pounds of Atlantic herring from Area 1B through midnight on December 31, 2010.

For more information, contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Marine Fisheries Division 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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