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


Important news, press releases, and reports from the CHOIR Coalition.

Trawlers clean out coastal herring

June 02, 2014

Like many who represent Cape and Islands fishermen, Alex Friedman, the president of the Dukes County Fishermen's Association, started getting calls a week ago that eight large vessels, operating in pairs, were towing large nets the size of football f

Big win on the herring accountability front

April 25, 2014

As you know, we have been working hard to bring about better accountability in the herring fishery for many years. After much hard work, we had won a big battle in June 2012 when the NEFMC voted in favor of many new rules in Herring Amendment 5 that

Fallout follows after herring protection rejected

August 12, 2013

A plan to protect the important Atlantic herring from what many believe is its biggest threat has been shelved indefinitely after years of work devising it - and even after winning support from the very vessels being targeted. Last month, f

Additional comments needed!

July 10, 2013

The second comment period on Herring Amendment 5 will be coming to a close at 11:59 pm on July 18th. This proposed rule, if fully implemented, will help ensure better herring management. Please help us on this effort and send in a comment if you hav

Important comment period on Amendment 5!

June 16, 2013

After many years of hard work, Herring Amendment 5 is now in the final stages of development. Comments are needed now!

Odd alliance is formed over access to herring

July 03, 2012

The issue at hand was about 30 large boats that use nets as big as a football field to scoop up hundreds of thousands of pounds of herring, a cheap fish often used for bait. Called midwater trawlers, they fish at a much higher volume than the purse s

Large New England Herring Boats to Carry Monitors

June 22, 2012

New England fishing regulators on Wednesday moved to determine whether herring trawlers, with their massive nets and stunning efficiency, are wiping out Atlantic herring and doing lasting damaging to other struggling northeastern species. The herrin

CHOIR submits letter signed by over 650 groups and businesses

June 13, 2012

In advance of final decisions on Herring Amendment 5, CHOIR has submitted a sign on letter signed by over 650 groups and businesses asking for key changes to the herring management plan

Prince Edward Island fishermen fighting midwater trawlers

April 08, 2012

ALBERTON The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association is continuing to apply pressure in hopes of convincing federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield there's too much at stake in allowing seiners to fish for herring with midwater trawls. "Herring are the q

Some say New England herring at risk from trawlers

April 01, 2012

New England's historic fishing industry doesn't spare much of its romance for the herring. The tiny fish is, at most, a foot long. The price per pound often won't even buy 12 minutes at a Boston parking meter. Some people eat it pickled, but herrin

Cape fishermen decry herring shortage

March 05, 2012

The National Marine Fisheries Service had planned to hit a fleet of large vessels that catch Atlantic herring with big quota cuts this year for going way over their allowed catch in 2010 in an area off Cape Cod. But a procedural glitch delayed actio

Amendment 5 Public Hearing Schedule Announced!!

February 16, 2012

The New England Fishery Management Council has published the Amendment 5 public hearings schedule!

Pair trawling raises concern among fishermen

February 05, 2012

Officials are considering a ban on herring pair-trawling in state waters. Galilee fishermen have called the vessels, most which approach the state’s maximum 165-foot commercial fishing vessel limit, too large and incompatible with the

Critical Amendment 5 meeting on the 29th!

September 02, 2011

We wanted to put out an initial notice about a very important meeting that will be taking place on Thursday, September 29th. The meeting will be in Danvers, MA, at the CoCo Key Resort and Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Ferncroft) located on 50 Ferncrof

Monitoring crucial to herring Amd. 5

August 26, 2011

Despite what some herring interests would have the public believe, the efforts to better manage midwater trawling are not the result of some environmental group initiative. You would be hard pressed to find a fisherman in the Northeast who does not

Amendment 5 update, Haddock bycatch

May 05, 2011

Amendment 5 Update

February 14, 2011

It has been a little while since we updated everyone on the status of the development of Amednment 5 and so here is where things are at: As you know, this amendment process has been underway for quite some time now. While the Council decided to prio

Important Council meeting on Wednesday

January 24, 2011

On Wednesday the NEFMC will be having an important discussion regarding Herring Amendment 5. The meeting will begin at 10:30 and will be at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH.

Fishermen decry impact of midwater trawlers

October 02, 2010

Local fishermen have another bone to pick with the mid-water trawler fleet. They’ve long accused the boats, which are up to 150-feet long, of depleting local resources through their bycatch of everything from haddock to river herring to cod.

CAI Comments due by the 7th!

October 01, 2010

Just a reminder that comments on the Closed Area I issue are due by October 7th!

Closed Area I Rule comment period opens

September 08, 2010

On Tuesday NMFS published a call for public comments in the Federal Register regarding discard provisions for the rule allowing midwater trawlers into Closed Area I (CAI).

CHOIR submits letter signed by over 440 groups and businesses

August 05, 2010

CHOIR submits Amendment 5 sign-on letter with over 440 signatories urging managers to put in place an effective monitoring system in the herring fishery

May 17 Herring Committee Meeting summary

June 01, 2010

Here is a quick summary of the NEFMC Herring Committee meeting that took place on May 17th in Portsmouth. This meeting was primarily devoted to the discussion of the river herring bycatch portion of Amendment 5. As you know, one of the priorities s

CHOIR Memo addressing dumping

May 01, 2010

CHOIR submits Monitoring Memo to Herring Committee offering suggestions for possible monitoring solutions.

March Herring Committee meeting summary

April 22, 2010

As you know, the NEFMC Herring Committee met on the 30th and 31st of March to discuss Herring Amendment 5, specifically the Catch Monitoring alternatives. Sorry for the delayed update but I wanted to wait until Lori put together the Committee's draft

Good monitoring imperative in herring count

March 31, 2010

In recent months there has been a lot discussion about the large quota cuts in the Atlantic herring fishery that took place this winter. While many fishermen in this region have little doubt that much of the problem was caused by the big midwater tra

Upcoming OSC meetings, CHOIR Comment

March 18, 2010

First, a reminder that there are a couple important meetings coming at the end of the month. As you know, the Committee spent most of 2009 working on Amendment 5 but then in October it took some time off to work on Amendment 4, which just finish

Amendment 4 meetings, decisions

February 15, 2010

Last week the Council and Herring Committee met to develop the final measures in Amendment 4. As you know, Amendment 4 was initially where the Council was going to deal with monitoring, groundfish closed areas, river herring, mackerel fishery interac

Herring stakeholders: Better catch info needed

January 23, 2010

PORTLAND — Few people attended the New England Fishery Management Council's three hearings on Amendment 4 to the Herring Fishery Management Plan earlier this month. But those few who did had plenty to say. NEFMC also received a dozen letters and em

Amendment 4 Public Hearings

January 02, 2010

The New England Fishery Management Council will be holding three public hearings for Amendment 4 during the first half of January

Council Makes Quota Decisions: 11/17 Meeting summary

November 26, 2009

The NEFMC met yesterday in Newport, RI, and spent the entire day discussing herring and herring related issues. Some very important decisions were made at this meeting, including the final decisions on the quota issue. Here is the meeting summary:

Herring limits a make-or-break for fishery

November 25, 2009

As a commercial groundfish and tuna fisherman, my livelihood is directly related to the health of the herring resource. The groundfish fishery is highly dependent on herring. Cod, haddock, pollock and other species that support our fishery all feed

11/10 OSC/Section Meeting, SSC Conference Call summaries

November 17, 2009

In the past couple weeks there have been multiple important meetings/discussions regarding the Specs process for herring- an 11/10 Herring OSC/Herring Section meeting and an 11/12 SSC Conference call.

Big problems surround regulations for preserving a little fish

November 16, 2009

I am a fifth-generation fisherman from Maine and have been fishing for groundfish and lobsters for over 20 years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the lobster fishery grew and thrived with herring bait supplied by local herring fishermen using gear lik

Herring health of utmost importance

November 13, 2009

As a tuna fisherman, I know all too well how important Atlantic herring are as a forage stock in the Gulf of Maine. Bluefin tuna travel thousands of miles to come here and feed during the summer and fall. While these tuna will eat many different spec

10/6 Joint Herring Committee/Herring Section Meeting Summary; Upcoming Meetings

October 20, 2009

The NEFMC Herring Committee and the ASMFC Sea Herring Section had a joint meeting on October 6th in Portland, Maine, to discuss the Herring Specifications (Specs) for 2010-2012. As previously mentioned here, there has been some major developments ove

9/16 SSC Meeting, 9/17 NEFMC Herring Committee Meeting, 9/23 NEFMC Meeting

October 05, 2009

There have been a bunch of important herring meetings lately, with a lot of important developments. Below are short summaries of these meetings.

Summary from August 24th Herring Committee meeting

September 01, 2009

Summary from the NEFMC Herring Oversight Committee meeting held in Portland, ME

Whale of a Show

August 24, 2009

Herring fishing ban linked to increase in sightings offshore

Prey For All

August 12, 2009

But this summer things have looked like they had 10 years ago before the bait problems began. This is the third summer of the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only rule that prohibits midwater trawling in the inshore Gulf of Maine (Area 1A) from June 1st throu

Bluefin Surge: Best season start in years.

July 10, 2009

The harpoon fishery for bluefin tuna was on fire during the beginning of June, raising hopes for a good commercial season for the first time in a long time.

NEFMC Meeting Results, Amendment is split

June 25, 2009

As you know, the NEFMC met yesterday in Portland and spent the entire day discussing herring. There were some important decisions made at the meeting and so I wanted to try and fill you all in quickly incase you did not make it.

Come to the NEFMC Herring Meeting on Tuesday!

June 20, 2009

Come to the New England Fishery Management Council meeting for the all day herring discussion!

Summary of June Herring Committee Meeting

June 11, 2009

As many of you know, last week (Thursday/Friday), the NEFMC Herring Committee met in Portland, Maine, to continue working on Herring Amendment 4. This Amendment has been underway for well over a year now- and was actually initiated in November of

2009 Area 1A Effort Reduction Provisions announced

May 26, 2009

Section members from the States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts discussed 2009 Area 1A effort controls at a meeting in Durham NH on May 21st 2009.

Council Votes for 100% Observer Coverage, No Dumping

April 08, 2009

Today the New England Fishery Management Council voted to require 100% observer coverage and no dumping for midwater trawlers in closed areas.

Herring fleet's monitoring shouldn't be one size fits all

April 01, 2009

Over the last decade, fishermen in New England have been concerned about the monitoring system in the Atlantic herring fishery. Many of us feel that this system has been entirely inadequate and as a result managers have not had the data they need to

More support for Monitoring Alternative 3

April 01, 2009

While there are currently four alternatives, I feel that one of these- Alternative 3- has a lot of promise and I hope the managers will decide upon this alternative when the time comes.

Update: 3/24 Herring Committee Meeting

March 26, 2009

On Tuesday the NEFMC Herring Committee met in Portland, Maine. This meeting was one of a handful that have been undertaken over the last year as the Council continues to work on Herring Amendment 4. At the meeting they spent a lot of time on the AC

Good News: CHOIR Monitoring Proposal included

January 30, 2009

On Wednesday the NEFMC Herring Committee met to, among other things, craft recommendations for management alternatives for inclusion in Herring Amendment 4.

CHOIR Monitoring Proposal

December 15, 2008

Recently, the New England Fishery Management Council requested input from stakeholders on how to monitor the herring fishery. See CHOIR's proposal.

Important River Herring Public Hearings

November 30, 2008

Reminder: Important ASMFC River Herring Public Hearings

Haddock bycatch upsets groundfishermen

November 04, 2008

Lobstermen up and down the coast of Maine this month reported finding large amounts of haddock mixed in their herring bait.

October Council Herring discussion report

October 18, 2008

At the October NEFMC meeting in Mystic, CT, the Council discussed herring amendment 4. Here is the Council's report for the discussion.

Important Herring Committee Meetings 9/30-10/1

September 20, 2008

There will be two important NEFMC Herring Commitee Meetings at the end of the month, on 9/30 and 10/1.

Lack of midwater trawls helps New England stocks

August 03, 2008

I can say without a doubt that in my 30+ years of commercial fishing I have never seen a rule do so much good in such a time. The rule has brought back to life the valuable inshore grounds and the fisheries that rely on them.

Joint Herring OS/AP Meeting on July 30th

July 28, 2008

Joint Herring Oversight Committee/Advisory Panel Meeting on July 30th in Portland Maine

Maine Governor's Top Choice for Fishery Council Cast Aside by NOAA

July 01, 2008

The recent appointment of a lobbyist for the industrial herring fleet to the Maine seat on the New England Fishery Management Council has created a wave of concern about fisheries up and down the region.

Important: Herring Amendment 4 Scoping Period!

April 27, 2008

The NEFMC has put out the scoping document for Herring Amendment 4 and has scheduled four scoping meetings around the coast for the public to comment.

2008 Effort Reduction Provisions

April 10, 2008

Notice to Atlantic Herring Fishery: Days out and other effort reductions in Area 1A for 2008 season

The Phantom of the Menu: Chatham Cod

April 02, 2008

"We don't catch herring, we don't sell herring, but all the fish that our fishermen depend on eat the herring,” he said. "It is the linchpin. Bluefin tuna, striped bass, cod and haddock: all these things eat herring..."

Herring spawning area analysis continues

March 29, 2008

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Atlantic Herring Technical Committee needs clearer goals and objectives and more data to properly evaluate how well the current "zero tolerance" spawning closures for sea herring are working.

"Far from a dead issue: midwater trawlers still create stir"

February 26, 2008

Even after two years of arrests, protests and court orders, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was still prepared last fall to allow mid-water trawlers in the waters off eastern P.E.I.

Guest view: Bycatch from midwater gear hurts fish stocks

February 23, 2008

Opinion piece from Gloucester groundfisherman regarding the herring fishery and the issue of groundfish interactions with midwater trawl gear

NEFMC Herring Committee Meeting on 3/26

February 15, 2008

New England Fishery Management Council's Herring Committee to meet to discuss upcoming amendment to the herring plan

'Wild Chronicles' video on herring

February 11, 2008

Watch this video from National Geographic's 'Wild Chronicles' on the herring fishery

2007 Herring Landings (preliminary)

January 02, 2008

Landings for the 2007 fishing year by area, according to NOAA

Island women join fishermen's fight against herring trawlers

December 06, 2007

A women's organization has taken a major role in the battle by Prince Edward Island fishermen to keep two large herring trawlers out of the island's inshore waters.

Area 1A quota at 100%

November 28, 2007

100% of Area 1A seasonal quota reported

Gloves Come Off Over Groundfish

November 12, 2007

Based on questionable decisions, though, massive herring midwater trawlers have been allowed to fish in these areas despite towing larger nets, with smaller mesh, at a higher speed than any groundfish vessels are capable of.

Ban brings boom to inshore herring

November 12, 2007

"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, there’s a chance for more fish to move up the coast."

Myth: Midwater trawl observer data is reliable

November 10, 2007

The midwater trawl lobby wants you to believe that their vessels have sufficient observer be the judge.

Council makes the right decision

November 09, 2007

At its meeting in Newport on Wednesay, the New England Fishery Managment Council chooses to address herring managment in 2008

Herring to be under the microscope in 2008

November 08, 2007

Regional fishing regulators voted 9 to 8 on Wednesday to make Atlantic herring one of six management priorities for 2008.

Herring fishery needs attention now

November 06, 2007

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 bui

Big Bluefin Behavior

October 24, 2007

Lessons learned from hunting giants

Fishermen Seek to Ban Herring Trawlers from Groundfish Hotspots

October 13, 2007

Groundfish fishermen petition to protect Groundfish Closed Areas from midwater trawlers

Help in the fight to get herring prioritized in 2008!

October 11, 2007

Help CHOIR in its fight to get the NEFMC to make herring a priority in 2008

Maine herring fishery is now compliant with ASMFC spawning regulation

September 24, 2007

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has passed 'zero tolerance' spawning regulations for Atlantic herring that will bring Maine into compliance with all spawning restriction provisions of the FMP for Atlantic Herring.

NMFS announces problems with landings reporting in herring fishery

September 16, 2007

NMFS announces that there are major problems with monitoring and reporting in the herring fishery

Hip Deep in Herring

September 11, 2007

Proponents credit a summerlong ban on midwater trawling in the Gulf of Maine for a resurgence of sea life from herring to whales.

Herring Fishery's Monitoring Mishap

August 31, 2007

Recent events regarding the monitoring of the herring fleet reinforce concerns over the ability of NMFS to effectivlely monitor the herring fishery.

Scientists ask: where have all the dolphins gone?

August 23, 2007

Martin singled out French "pair trawlers" that sweep the ocean with huge nets twice the size of a football pitch strung out between them as being especially lethal to the marine mammals.

Herring and their predators reoccupying Area 1A after trawler ban

August 18, 2007

Tuna, whales, birds, groundfish, porpoise and everything else that relies on herring are back. In the minds of most fishermen in this region, there is no denying why.

Maine working to comply with ASMFC Rules

August 17, 2007

Fishermen and managers in Maine work to get the state back into compliance with spawning rules.

Herring landings by area, through 8/04

August 09, 2007

Herring landings (IVR) by Area, through 8/04/2007

Tunas follow the food fish to Canada

August 02, 2007

Yes, bluefins are overfished by some nations. But that's not the sole reason they grow scarcer off our coast.

Herring landings by Area, through 7/28

July 28, 2007

Herring landings (IVR) by Area, through 7/28/2007

Maine DMR Advisory Council votes not to comply with ASMFC Spawning closures

July 10, 2007

Maine Department of Marine Resources Advisory Panel votes not to comply with new spawning regualtions meant to protect spawning herring.

'07 Bluefin season starts on optimistic note

July 04, 2007

Fishermen began the first weekend of the 2007 bluefin tuna season with a bang. The fishery, which opened on June 1, saw four fish landed in Gloucester and 11 more landed in the southern Maine ports of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, and York.

Solution to shortage: don't export herring

June 25, 2007

The real threat to the bait market isn't the Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only Area, but rather the export market that these vertically integrated, multinational corporations that own the industrial midwater fleet have developed. The export market takes b

6/20 USAP discussion and the need to prioritize herring.

June 24, 2007

NEFMC delays the discussion until November; Overwhleming support shown for making herring a priority next year.

Members of New England Congressional delegation support observers on herring trawlers

June 11, 2007

Members of Congress from New England speak up in support of increased funding for observer coverage on herring midwater trawlers.

Herring fishery greatly exceeds inshore quota in May

June 10, 2007

The herring fishery caught far more fish inshore in May than it is supposed to; takes 8,264 metric tons (quota is 5,000 mt).

CHOIR Announces New Leadership

May 31, 2007

CHOIR Press Release


May 30, 2007

Tell the managers that you want changes in how the herring fishery is managed!

Pictures added to Gallery...

May 19, 2007

Gallery Updated

For Maine's alewives, the possibilities are as large as the threats

May 10, 2007

Alewives mingle with other species like blueback and Atlantic herring, subjecting them to the high volume catches of some of the largest fishing vessels in the region as well as natural predation from fish such as striped bass, which have...

NEFMC Pelagics Committee votes unanimously in favor of USAP observer motion

May 03, 2007

Pelagics Committee addresses need for observers on USAP vessels in the herring and mackerel fisheries.

NMFS sets 2007-2009 specs

May 01, 2007

After reviewing those comments, NMFS published a rule in the Federal Register on April 10 announcing the final specifications, which didn't change at all from what the agency proposed back in January.

Observer Requirements for At-Sea Processors

April 25, 2007

Memorandum from NEFMC Chairman John Pappalardo to the NEFMC Pelagics Oversight Committee regarding discussion of USAP May 3rd Committee meeting.

Herring Landings by Area, through 4/14/07

April 23, 2007

IVR Landings (as reported) by area though April,14,2007

Fishermen Ask Congress For More Fisheries Observers On Midwater Trawl Fleet

April 17, 2007

Diverse Coalition of Fishing and Ecotourism Interests Calls for More Money to Observe Herring Trawlers

NMFS announces final specifications for the herring fishery (2007-2009)

April 10, 2007

Today NMFS published the final rule for the specifications for the Atlantic herring fishery for fishing years 2007-2009...

Processor vessel and lobstermen

April 09, 2007

Lobstermen are casting a wary eye toward the American Freedom, a 380-foot factory ship that...

Herring: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

April 05, 2007

Lexi Krause, life long fisherman said that over the last 20 years he sees changes in the GOM. He sees it on the surface and his color scanner. The herring are not schooling, no herring no tuna. The cod have big yellow heads, small bodies...

Backers: Inshore herring trawling ban will aid groundfish stocks

March 28, 2007

A new ban on inshore trawling for herring that will begin this summer will help struggling groundfish stocks by keeping more herring around for them to feed on, supporters of the move said.

Atlantic herring fishery facing new rules

March 25, 2007

The National Marine Fisheries Service this month published new rules that will ban mid-water trawling for herring in the Gulf of Maine close to the coastlines of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Only purse seining, a more traditional type of n

Story Didn't Cut Through Smokescreen

March 22, 2007

I am a tuna fisherman from Maine and was disappointed by Stephen Rappaport's story on the herring fishery ["New Herring Fishery Restrictions a Concern for Maine Lobstermen," Ellsworth American, March 15] and especially how it pertains to lobster bait

Herring Final Rule Eliminates Midwater Trawlers from Inshore

March 16, 2007

CHOIR Press Release

Lobstermen speak in favor of midwater ban

March 09, 2007

At the Maine Fishermen's Forum, lobstermen show continued support for purse seiner/fixed gear only 'buffer zone' in the Gulf of Maine

NMFS publishes rule for herring amendment 1!!

March 09, 2007

NOAA/NMFS finally publishes herring rule!

Good News from ECTA

March 07, 2007


Show your support for increased observer coverage in the herring midwater trawl fleet!

February 22, 2007


Herring Seminar Kicks Off Fishermen's Forum

February 22, 2007

This year, the forum will open with an all-day seminar considering the complex issues involved in the herring fishery in the Gulf of Maine. The seminar is sure to evoke some strong opinions.

Herring health on fishermen's plate

February 20, 2007

Another issue with a wide-ranging impact on fisheries, the future of herring, will be tackled in all-day discussion on Thursday, March 1.

Newest addition to the herring fleet

February 17, 2007

At an impressive 164-by-40-by-14 feet, the Western Venture is a European design combination of mid-water trawler/purse from which fishermen will be allowed to pull out 50,000 metric tons of food and bait fish for the 2007-2008 fishing year.

CHOIR heads to DC to ask Congress for more observer coverage in the Herring midwater trawl fleet

February 14, 2007

Recently a group from New England headed south to Washington DC to ask Congress to increase funding for the midwater trawl fleet.

Midwater Trawling Concerns Fishermen

February 13, 2007

Canada- A spokesperson for Cape Breton fishermen is fighting to stop four companies from fishing for herring using a method called mid-water trawling.

Herring freezer vessel offers promise, raises concerns

February 01, 2007

American Freedom, a 380-foot freezer vessel that will process both mackerel and herring at sea, left Portland in early January for its shakedown trip to Cape Cod and Long Island.

Area 1A herring TAC may be further slashed

February 01, 2007

The inshore Gulf of Maine herring fishery is about to undergo profound change on several fronts.

Fishermen Want Feds to Keep an Eye on Herring Trawlers

January 29, 2007

Tuna fishermen and lobstermen from Massachusetts and Maine, and the environmental group Conservation Law Foundation, want more observers to monitor the species trawlers catch, including tuna and some marine mammals, along with herring.

Fishing Observers Seek Funding Increase from Congress

January 25, 2007

Show me the money. That's the message a group of tuna fishermen and lobstermen from Maine and Massachusetts who traveled to Washington, D.C., asked members of Congress this week.

Fishermen Asking Congress to Keep an Eye on Herring Boats

January 24, 2007

Commercial fishermen from Massachusetts and Maine headed to Washington, D.C., yesterday to convince members of Congress that more observers are needed aboard midwater herring trawlers to monitor how many and what types of fish they catch.

NMFS Proposed Rule 2007-2009 Herring Specs

January 10, 2007

Proposed Rule Published today in Federal Register

Trawler Limits Protect Herring

January 04, 2007

The recent adoption of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan will prohibit the trawler fleet from entering inshore Gulf of Maine waters between June 1 and Sept. 30, the critical period when herring are schooled over spawning gro

Offshore Oppurtunity?

December 17, 2006

Sports fishermen, whale-watching companies and tuna fishermen worry that the

The Herring fishery does NOT have "Hard TACs"

December 16, 2006

Herring midwater trawler lobbyists like to say at just about every single meeting that their fishery has "Hard TACs"...what happened this year in Area 1B than?

Miss Laney Might Be A Giant Next Year

December 09, 2006

"I couldn't compete with the big trawlers," Palino said. The herring regulations also made his operation more expensive and difficult. "I had to put on a vessel monitoring system to fish in state waters. This cost me $6,000 up front and $300 a month

Freezer ship to unload in city

December 08, 2006

"We had an unaccountable fleet with big ships and they destroyed the stock," Mr. Baker said. "We need accountability."

Declining Herring

November 28, 2006

Watch Valery Lyman's recent documentary on the herring midwater trawl fleet. Includes great footage of midwater pair trawlers, and information.

Saving the Atlantic Herring

November 10, 2006

CHOIR Chair on NPR speaking about the impact of midwater trawling, pair trawling, and the need for observers in the herring fleet

Herring Midwater Trawl Madness

November 05, 2006

Here's what the herring midwater trawl controversy in the Northeast is all about.

Herring Amendment 1 out for public comment

November 01, 2006

With one exception, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a proposed rule for Amendment 1 to the federal herring plan containing all the provisions developed by the New England Fishery Management Council.

On The Water supports CHOIR

November 01, 2006

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.

High stakes provoke intense herring debate

November 01, 2006

Concerned about the inshore Gulf of Maine component of the Atlantic herring resource, the New England Fishery Management Council endorsed a 10,000 metric ton (mt) reduction in the Area 1A quota for the next three fishing years.

Local Lobstermen Suffer Equipment Losses Great and Small

October 12, 2006

On the night of October 2, several area lobstermen lost gear, some upwards of 40 traps a piece. According to Maine Marine Patrol records, a total of 164 traps belonging to 11 local lobstermen were lost around the waterway known as Damariscove tow.

Record Six-Month Exports of U.S. Frozen Mackerel to EU Eclipse 2005 Sales

October 01, 2006

Sales of frozen mackerel from the United States, mainly

Council Votes to Protect Herring Inshore

September 29, 2006

CHOIR Press Release

NE Fishery Council Sets Herring Fishing Limits in the Gulf of Maine

September 29, 2006

NEFMC News Release

United in support: CHOIR 'sign on' letter to NMFS regarding passage of the 1A Buffer Zone, etc.

September 28, 2006

An unprecedented amount of cooperation is seen here as the region's commercial fishermen bind with the recreational fishing industry and other marine industries (whalewatchers, etc) reliant on herring

Caution is Warranted in the Herring Fishery

September 24, 2006

Herring is a humble fish. Not large or particularly meaty, it's sought after chiefly as lobster bait or kippered snacks.

East Coast Pelagic Association is no more

September 18, 2006

ECPA News Release-Herring trawl association dissolved

The Issue of Bycatch

September 01, 2006

"If fisheries managers are going to rebuild New England's legendary populations of cod, flounder and haddock we need to be able to account for all of the fish and other ocean wildlife that is killed as bycatch in our fisheries.

Herring Coverage misses mark

August 01, 2006

But even more important, the lobster fleet is going to pay the biggest price in all of this. Right now, the guys from Perkins Cove cannot even find bait.

ASMFC wants 'zero tolerance' herring closures

July 01, 2006

Back in January, the section voted to include a "zero tolerance" provision in Amendment 2 to its herring plan that prohibits vessels from fishing for, taking, landing, or possessing herring during a spawning closure.

Lobstermen and Midwater Trawlers Meet

June 01, 2006

After the first of the year, all midwater trawlers will be banned from the inshore areas in the Gulf of Maine. Some fishermen were concerned that the trawlers would make a "last chance" haul inshore this season that might further jeopardize what the

Fishermen, Regulators Brace for Spring Herring Moratorium

March 17, 2006

"When you tow and bring 100,000 pounds of alewives out of the water, they are gone. There are no herring in Massachusetts because they are caught offshore."

Lessons Learned From Herring Amendment 1

February 06, 2006

As CHOIR's Rich Ruais testified at a May 2005 meeting of the herring oversight committee, "They walked away from us on that. Absolutely no help whatsoever. We repeatedly had meetings whether it was in Rockland, ME or

NE Fishery Council Limits Access to the Herring Fishery

February 01, 2006

NEFMC News Release

Fishery shut to mackerel trawlers (UK)

January 20, 2006

The Scottish Executive has taken the decision as a precaution while it investigates overfishing. It is hoped they can re-open later in the year.

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

December 01, 2005

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.

Got Bait?

November 07, 2005

Check out CHOIR's full page ad in support of Alternative 7 in the November issue of Commercial Fisheries News!

Herring Alternative 7 focus of public hearing in Maine

November 01, 2005

Dozens arrive to show concern over the midwater trawl fleet for herring and the need for inshore buffer zones free of midwater trawlers.

Herring's Legacy

November 01, 2005

In recent years, New England’s tuna fishermen have led the formation of the CHOIR: Coalition fighting against industrial mid-water trawling for herring. The CHOIR Coalition was formed by fishermen in 2002, “to advocate for the responsible developmen

Support Alternative 7!

October 17, 2005

Public comments in support of Alternative 7 are due by October 24, 2005. The following letter may be submitted or used as an example to write your own comments.

Fishermen Demand Better Management of Atlantic Herring

October 16, 2005

Commercial fishermen and the CHOIR Coalition have announced support for Alternative 7 to the Atlantic Herring FMP in order to prevent another one of New England’s stocks from diminishing to a dismal state.

Common Dolphin (UK)

October 06, 2005

Common dolphins are often seen in the waters around Guernsey and Alderney. However they are facing problems from pair-trawling.

Haddock Catches Prompt Scrutiny

September 07, 2005

When the Maine Marine Patrol discovered thousands of pounds of baby haddock mixed into the massive herring catch on two fishing vessels last month, it inflamed an already heated battle between New England groundfishermen and the herring trawler indus

Tuna Catch Becomes Leaner

August 22, 2005

Fourteen years worth of records at a Seabrook auction house reveal that tuna aren't eating as well as they used to, says Molly Lutcavage, director of the Large Pelagics Research Lab at UNH. Bluefin are also less abundant.

Bluefin Grading Records Show Quality Decline

August 01, 2005

"A lot of people in the commercial bluefin industry have said they've seen what has appeared to be a decline in the quality of the fish," said Walt Golet, principal scientist in the investigation. "We wanted to take any available data and statistical

Big Herring Victory

July 01, 2005

Although it did not happen as planned, our objective to create a coastal "buffer zone" free of midwater trawling from June 1 to September 30 was seriously advanced on June 21 when the New England Fishery Council voted 10 to 4 to make Alternative 7

NMFS Lifts Haddock Ban on Herring Boats

July 01, 2005

"It's obvious now that they (midwater trawlers) can't distinguish the haddock signature from the herring signature on the machine. Without full-retention, if they run into haddock, they still have the freedom to dump fish," he said

Herring critical to forage base in Gulf of ME

June 01, 2005

PEABODY, MA It's not just bluefin tuna fishermen who are worried that something isn't right in the Gulf of Maine and beyond. Others are becoming increasingly concerned too. Forage fish seem to be absent all too often...

Herring plan could include groundfish limits

June 01, 2005

PEABODY, MA Directed to "reconsider" the use of groundfish bycatch caps in draft Amendment 1 to the herring plan, the New England Fishery Management Council's herring committee spent hours debating the subject during its May 17-18 meeting here.

One Fish- Two Fisheries

June 01, 2005

"If they let these mid-water boats keep fishing in Area 1A [the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Maine from the coast out to around 50 miles] they'll destroy this fishery, and a whole lot more."

Beyond The Nest

May 06, 2005

As the events on Machias Seal Island in 2004 showed, protecting the seabirds' food source may be critical. "We protect their nesting sites," said Fefer. "But the birds won't be there if they don't have any food."

Herring Turf War?

April 01, 2005

It's not often that one fishery calls out another. Most turf wars within the fishery are kept behind closed doors, or restricted to private heads-up style discreet conversations with fishery administrators. But, in an effort to protect their interes

Research key to solving tuna/herring conflict

April 01, 2005

The shift to midwater trawl gear for herring has "had the effect of greatly diminishing the early-season importance of tuna fishing,”"said Ruais.

Charity ship to monitor trawling (UK)

February 17, 2005

The practice of pair trawling involves dragging a huge net between two boats to catch fish but dolphins can accidentally get caught and drown.

Captain of Bunny Clark discusses the midwater trawl issue

February 02, 2005

Since the mid-water trawlers showed up on Jeffrey's Ledge in 1991, the herring populations have declined at an alarming rate. Where before one could tell when they were on Jeffrey's by the enormous schools of herring found there, now, you are lucky t

Bass Pair Trawl Fishery closed (UK)

January 17, 2005

Pair trawling for bass in the south west of England has been demonstrated to have high levels of cetacean by-catch. Sea trials conducted by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) showed that there was no easy technical solution for reducing by-catch lev

Herring Boats Fined, Haddock Hard to Avoid

November 18, 2004

While the federal enforcement agents would not disclose the amount of fish involved in each case, they did note that the three vessels were boarded in port, where they attempted to sell the illegally caught haddock that was mixed with their legal her


October 26, 2004

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Release- Midwater trawlers busted with massive bycatch

Government takes action to help dolphins (UK)

September 29, 2004

The British Government has announced a ban on pair trawling in UK waters. The fishing method has been blamed for killings dolphins around our coast.

Pair trawling for sea bass banned (UK)

September 27, 2004

The government has announced a unilateral ban on pair trawling for seabass effective immediately.

Haddock Bycatch by Herring Trawlers Traps Fisheries Managers

September 01, 2004

The bycatch of juvenile haddock by the herring mid-water trawlers shouldn't be a surprise.

The Evolving Herring Fishery

September 01, 2004

Older fishermen remember when herring spawned all along the coast of Maine. Dense schools crowded the shore, filling the weirs used to trap herring and mackerel. Dories full of seine twine lay ready to shut off the coves when the fish swam in on moon

Bycatch Blues

September 01, 2004

The 46,000 pounds of juvenile haddock caught by two mid-water boats, out of a fleet of 25, could represent a loss of over a million pounds of legal-sized haddock, worth $1.3 million at current prices.

One boat's bycatch is another's real catch

September 01, 2004

Groundfish fishermen should worry that one day their directed catch might be reallocated to the mid-water and pair trawlers to justify their bycatch.

Haddock Attack

September 01, 2004

The corporate spokesperson seems to imply that it is the haddock's problem for being in the way. Sorry, Ms. Tooley, but this is not a haddock attack. The problem is not the fish the problem is the boats.

Gone Fishin'

April 15, 2004

A drop in fish was also seen along the southeast coast of New England.

Herring in a pickle

January 01, 2004

Big boats with lots of muscle and roving ways could one day precipitate a herring crash if something isn't done to control the relatively unregulated fishery.

Fishing Method Eyed in Mammals' Deaths

October 04, 2003

A controversial fishing method in which a giant net is strung between two boats may be responsible for an unusual number of dead whales off Maine's coast in recent weeks, including two animals that appear to have been lanced by humans, say critics of

Mega-trawlers off Maine are destroying tuna fishery

March 01, 2003

Right now the Gulf of Maine is allowing 200-foot mega-trawlers to midwater trawl for herring. For the last five or so summers, the Gulf of Maine has seen less and less tuna late in the season, and this coincides with the infiltration onto the gulf of

Considering Other Consumers: Fisheries, Predators, and Atlantic Herring in the Gulf of Maine

January 20, 2003

We estimate that the consumption of herring by these upper trophic level predators may have exceeded the estimate of natural mortality used in stock assessment models by more than fourfold in 1991. We suggest that fisheries management must move beyon

Food fish vs. Fish Food

January 01, 2003

Without question, we're impacting predators directly, as the targets of large-scale fishing operations, and indirectly, by diminishing their food supply. Is this kind of ecological squeeze play sustainable? Or could it lead to widespread collapse of

Forage Fish Key to Food Chain

November 03, 1999

Herring was singled out as prey far more often than other forage fish species, leading scientists to believe that when herring populations aren't doing well, seabird and marine mammal populations may not do well either.

Haggling Over Herring

August 01, 1999

"Our gripe is that they [herring midwater trawlers] go from area to area and take the cream," said Lexi Krause, a Monhegan tuna fisherman. "Tuna stay in an area if there are thick concentrations of bait. It hurts us to see these guys 4 or 5 miles...

Whale of a Show

November 30, -0001

Herring fishing ban linked to increase in sightings offshore

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