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Regulators Reject River Herring Protections, For Now

Maine Public Broadcasting Network
By Tom Porter

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Regional fishing industry regulators have rejected a plan to list river herring and shad as part of the Atlantic Herring fishery.

The measure would have put the two species under a federal management plan that would have included greater conservation. But the New England Fishery Management Council concluded there was not enough evidence to support the move.

Environmental advocates want more protection for river herring and shad - anadromous fish that spend most of their lives at sea but return to freshwater to spawn in the spring.


Shad: A Revolutionary Comeback

A nice piece was published in Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Save the Bay Magazine which describes the history of shad fishing and the ups and downs of the species. The population has seen improvements in some rivers, but being caught as bycatch in offshore industrial fisheries is still having an impact.

Herring Alliance in Eating Well magazine

The current issue of Eating Well magazine features the Herring Alliance’s Greg Wells in an article about river herring and the Atlantic herring fishery. Wells explained how the industry’s vessels to often scoop up river herring, complicating the effort to restore their depleted populations. Check it out here or pick up a copy!

We Can Restore River Herring! But the Mid Atlantic Council and NOAA Fisheries need to step up

By Capt. John McMurray
Originally published on
August 26, 2013

If you've been lucky enough to be there when river herring (bluebacks or alewives) clash with striped bass you know why we call them, "striper candy". It's a big bait that attracts big fish, and makes them act really stupid. Of course not only striped bass, but bluefin, yellowfin, cod, bluefish, weakfish and dozens of other predators go nuts over river herring... At least they used to.


Dwindling Baitfish Stocks Worry Fishermen and Regulators

Cape and Islands NPR
July 10, 2013

When it comes to commercial fishing, the little fish are just as important as the big ones. It's the baitfish—smaller species like river herring and Atlantic herring—that support the entire commercial fishing industry. But baitfish stocks are dwindling. If these stocks don't rebound, not only will fishermen be out of bait, they also may be out of fish.