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


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On The Water supports CHOIR

November 01, 2006

On The Water
November 2006
By Chris Megan

Excerpt below taken from the From The Publisher section.
On The Water

Recently, I received an email from a tuna fisherman, Chris Weiner, who fishes out of Perkins Cove, Maine. He was working on behlaf of the CHOIR Coalition (Coalition for the Atlantic Herring Fishery’s Orderly, Informed, and Responsible Long Term Development) and other organizations that are extremely concerned about what is happening to the inshore Atlantic herring stocks in the Gulf of Maine due to midwater pair and single trawls. Since 1994 midwater trawl gear has been replacing purse seine gear for harvesting herring and over the years the boats have increased in size and efficiency. According to Chris, boats were ”...relocated from places like Ireland where mid-water trawling, a new and efficient method, had decimated (Ireland’s) local stocks.” Boats capable of holding over a million pounds of herring are able to hook up in pair trawls and drag small mesh nets with a mouth between 200 and 300 feet across just beyond three miles of shore in the Gulf of Maine. Three miles offshore marks the beginning of the EEZ and the area designated to protect striped bass, yet many bass end up killed in these same nets, along with other fish and marine mammals. In this month’s Regulation Watch, Kevin Blinkoff reports on recent actions to redice the amount of herring harvested inshore, and what actions CHOIR is recommending in support of the proposed Amendment 1 to the herring management plan. Please take the time to read this column and educate yourself about the proposal to remove the pair and single trawls from the inshore Gulf of Maine from June 1 to September 30 in the area known as 1A. On The Water supports CHOIR in their efforts to help reduce the tonnage of sea herring and bycatch taken through the use of pair and single trawls within inshore waters. Only through proactive groups like CHOIR will both recreational and commercial fishermen throughout New England and the world enjoy a balanced and managed marine ecosystem for years to come. In my experience, far too often fisheries management is another case of too little, too late.

Chris Megan

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