CHOIR: Coalition for the Atlantic Herring Fishery's Orderly, Informed, and Responsible Long-Term Development


Commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, ecotourism businesses, researchers and concerned citizens throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic have united with one voice to protect Atlantic Herring stocks. Atlantic herring form the basis of the ocean food chain, and are therefore an essential element to the marine ecosystem. Fishermen know that if food sources are eliminated, there is little hope for the long term health of other fish stocks.

The herring fishery has existed for generations and generations, providing the lobster fishery with bait and the canneries with product. The herring fleet was always able to coexist alongside the region’s other fisheries and ocean industries. That was until the fishery underwent a dramatic evolution throughout the nineties.

Today, large midwater single and pair trawl vessels (herring midwater trawlers) in the waters off New England are removing more herring from the inshore areas than ever before, forcing tuna, groundfish, whales and seabirds out of their traditional feeding grounds. Midwater trawl vessels in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank have been known to have serious bycatch interactions with regulated groundfish, river herring, and other species, much of which goes unaccounted for by managers.

Now is the time to demand a more ORDERLY, INFORMED, and RESPONSIBLE plan for managing the Atlantic Herring Fishery in New England. The future health of our ocean, traditional fisheries and other coastal industries depends on it.

a school of herring A School of Herring photo by Jon Witman

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