Get Email Updates

NOAA Fisheries Adjusts the Atlantic Herring Specifications for 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 7, 2019

Today, we are adjusting Atlantic herring specifications for 2019. This in-season adjustment reduces 2018 Atlantic herring specifications and sub-annual catch limits (ACLs) for 2019 to prevent overfishing and lower the risk of the stock becoming overfished. All other Atlantic herring specifications, including river herring and shad catch caps, remain unchanged from 2018.

The 2018 Atlantic herring stock assessment concluded that while Atlantic herring was not overfished and overfishing was not occurring in 2017, Atlantic herring catch would need to be reduced to prevent overfishing and lower the risk of the stock becoming overfished.

At its September 2018 meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council requested we use an in-season adjustment to reduce Atlantic herring catch limits for 2019 to prevent overfishing. We published a proposed rule in November 2018. The herring acceptable biological catch (ABC) we proposed for 2019, as well as the resulting ACL and sub-ACLs, while consistent with methods used to set recent specifications, were higher than limits recommended by the Council.

The Council reviewed our proposed Atlantic herring catch limits for 2019 at its December 2018 meeting and recommended that we further reduce herring catch limits to better account for scientific uncertainty and achieve conservation and management objectives. For these reasons, we are reducing the herring specifications and sub-ACLs for 2019 consistent with the Council’s recommendations.

2019 Atlantic Herring Specifications (mt)

Overfishing Limit

30,668

ABC

21,266

Management Uncertainty

6,200

ACL/Optimum Yield

15,065*

Domestic Annual Harvest

15,065

Border Transfer

0

Domestic Annual Processing

15,065

U.S. At-Sea Processing

0

Area 1A Sub-ACL (28.9%)

4,354*

Area 1B Sub-ACL (4.3%)

647

Area 2 Sub-ACL (27.8%)

4,188

Area 3 Sub-ACL (39%)

5,876

Fixed Gear Set-Aside

39

Research Set-Aside

3% of sub-ACLs

* If New Brunswick weir fishery catch through October 1 is less than 4,000 mt, then 1,000 mt will be subtracted from the management uncertainty buffer and added to the ACL and Area 1A Sub-ACL.

Area

Gear

Amount (mt)

Gulf of Maine

Midwater Trawl

76.7

Cape Cod

Midwater Trawl

32.4

Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic

Midwater Trawl

129.6

Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic

Bottom Trawl

122.3

Total

All Gears

361.0

For more information read the rule as filed in the Federal Register and posted on our website.

Questions? 

Fishermen: Contact Carrie Nordeen, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978-281-9272
Media: Contact Allison Ferreira, Regional Office, 978-281-9103.