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Ban brings boom to inshore herring

November 12, 2007

Fishermen’s Voice
November 2007
By Chessie Johnson

“I have never seen so many herring in one place. I have been fishing herring for a long time and dreamed of fishing days like this all my life.” said a crew member on the Polly B out of Grand Manan and was not the only fisherman pleased with this year’s herring fishery. Processors report that this year, they have bought over twice the total tonnage of last year, or the year before, and some may triple last year’s disappointing harvest. The plants still have their summer crews working, the latest for the extra workers for many years.

The past two mild winters are credited with helping to rebuild the stock, although some cite another possible reason for the bountiful harvest. One boat owner suggested that new restrictions in US waters has helped the harvest. “The quantity of fish is the highest I’ve seen for years, and I credit the controls on mid-water trawlers. Without them hauling up everything, thereís a chance for more fish to move up the coast.” Boat owners and captains are wont to provide exact figures, for competitive reasons, but all agreed that this was an exceptionally good year, both for the quantity of fish available and for the fair weather that allows them to lengthen the season.

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