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NE council OKs herring limited-access; 4-month midwater trawl ban in 1A

December 01, 2005

Commercial Fisheries News
December 2006
By Janice Plante

HYANNIS, MA The Northeast region’s Atlantic herring fleet will undergo profound change as it begins responding to a brand new limited-access program expected to be implemented in early 2007.

Although the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must still approve the program, the course essentially was set when the New England Fishery Management Council met here in mid-November and, over a very tense two-day period, approved more than two dozen actions for Amendment 1 to the federal herring plan.

First, the council voted to adopt the most restrictive Area 1A purse seine/fixed-gear-only season that went out to public hearing in October–the one calling for a four-month prohibition on midwater trawling in the inshore Gulf of Maine from June through September.

The closure was the most popular component of Alternative 7 and the chief reason tuna fishermen, whale watch operators, environmentalists, and many others backed this alternative above the six others.

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