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Herring fishery needs attention now

November 06, 2007

Portland Press Herald
Maine Voices
November, 6 2007
by Gary Libby

An amazing thing happened in the Gulf of Maine this summer.

It was like the sea came alive again before our very eyes.

Vast schools of tuna, groundfish, striped bass, dolphins, porpoises, whales and numerous seabirds returned in numbers our vicinity hasn’t seen in years.

It reminded us just how productive the ocean can be, if we give it a chance. What explains this sudden rejuvenation?

Many Mainers who make their living from the sea think we know the answer. Over the summer, mid-water trawlers (vessels between 100 and 165 feet long) were prohibited from towing their nets-as wide as a football field and as tall as a six-story building-in coastal waters for the first time.

That allowed a comeback for the most valuable fish in the sea: herring, on which so many other species depend.

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