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Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Managers Protect River Herring and Shad

First limit on at-sea catch could help depleted species recover

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has set a first-of-its-kind limit on the amount of river herring and shad that can be taken at sea by industrial trawlers fishing for other species, a major move for protecting these historically important but imperiled fish.

DID YOU KNOW? River Herring in Massachusetts

By Dorie Stolley
Wicked Local
May 30, 2013

Do you ever wonder why there are many water bodies called Herring Pond, Herring River or Herring Brook in Southeastern Massachusetts?

It's because not so long ago streams and natural pools came alive in the spring with alewives and blueback herring, collectively known as river herring. They were so plentiful that Native Americans and early European Colonists caught them in nets and weirs for food and as fertilizer for their crops.

Animation: Methods to Consider Predators in Fishery Management

Predators are an important factor that is often overlooked in fisheries management. Several methods are available today to incorporate predators into management models, a practical step toward ecosystem-based managment.

Watch this new animation from The Pew Charitable Trusts to learn more!

Q: What's for dinner? A: Forage fish!

From whales to striped bass, important marine animals eat smaller fish and organisms to survive. These prey, or “forage fish,” in the food web are critical to a healthy ocean ecosystem. But people are not doing enough to ensure the abundance of prey species to feed valuable fish populations and marine life.

The need to protect this basic prey, which ranges from mackerel and menhaden to herring and anchovies, is growing more urgent. Populations of some of these small fish have plummeted. Millions are scooped up by industrial fishing gear and ground into fertilizer and pet food. Millions more are caught by accident in trawler nets.

Check out this new fact sheet from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

New study says fish ladders do not effectively allow passage on 3 major rivers

AMHERST, Mass. – Despite modern designs intended to allow migratory fish to pass, hydropower dams on major Northeast U.S. waterways, including the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers, have failed to let economically important species such as salmon, shad and river herring reach their spawning grounds, say a team of economists and fish ecologists including Adrian Jordaan of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


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