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Trawlers want to see fishing regulations loosened

NOTE: A few points to clarify in this article: The Council didn’t “agree(d) to ask for looser rules” but voted to address this issue through the normal Council process and not an emergency action. Also, the haddock bycatch cap isn't a static number but changes based on the abundance of haddock. See our recent blog post about the issue.

The Cape Codder
November 23, 2010, by Rich Eldred

BREWSTER — Haddock have put food on the table for local fishermen over the past decade, but mid-water trawlers that fish for herring are hauling up so much of the groundfish as bycatch that they desperately want the cap lifted, and that would slash the allocation for local ground fishermen.

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More needs to be done to protect herring
Cape Cod Times
November 6, 2010, Opinion

All Cape residents should be aware of the decline of river herring, a vitally important issue.

Although we're not a party to the Earthjustice lawsuit, we support what it is trying to accomplish, and I was glad to see you do justice to this problem on its editorial page ("Alewife in danger," Oct 28). A few additional points are worth noting about this complex issue.

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Alewife: Returning an old favor
Boston Globe
November 2, 2010, Editorial

Alewife is best known as the end of the Red Line, the last stop for thousands of commuters. Some know the name derives from a breed of river herring that fed the region’s early settlers. But few, if any, realize that the beloved alewife may be going the way of the passenger pigeon.
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Alewife in danger

NOTE: A few points in this piece are incorrect. See the response published a week later.

Cape Cod Times
October 28, 2010, Editorial

As Brewster naturalist John Hay famously chronicled in his 1959 book, "The Run," the spawning cycle of the Atlantic river herring — also known as the alewife — is one plagued with many hurdles.

The National Marine Fisheries Service currently lists river herring as a "species of concern" under the Endangered Species Act. In their migration to their freshwater spawning areas, the silvery fish face many obstacles — blocking of spawning habitat by dams, clogged runs, shoreside development, predatory animals, and pollution in ponds and streams.

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State cannot ignore need for herring bycatch cap

New Bedford Standard Times
October 22, 2010, Letter to the editor, Peter Baker

In Don Cuddy's story "Decline in river herring sparks debate, lawsuit" (Oct. 2), Mike Armstrong of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who is a member of the Herring Plan Development Team, states, "The herring fleet takes 700,000 pounds of river herring as bycatch, about a million-and-a-half fish." If the DMF knows the size of the bycatch, then why have managers dragged their feet over setting a bycatch cap for the midwater trawl sea herring fleet? If the number is known, it should be capped.

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