Fact Sheets

Standing_Puffin Atlantic Herring (471 Kb)
Atlantic herring is one of the most important fishes in New England -
a keystone species in the Northwest Atlantic.


river-herring-underwater River Herring (New England) (1.2 Mb)
River Herring (Mid-Atlantic) (1.2 Mb)
Populations of alewife and blueback herring are in serious decline
along the Atlantic Coast and face numerous threats.

shad_in_water_crop Shad (2 Mb)
By restoring American shad we can protect rivers and coastal
ecosystems where shad provide a crucial source of food to other wildlife.

weir_fisherman_crop History of a Fishery (972 Kb)
Atlantic herring have been caught in New England waters for centuries.
But the fishery has recently changed, becoming increasingly industrial

pumpingout3 Bycatch and Monitoring (3.1 Mb)
Bycatch, the unintended capture of unwanted fish and other animals
during fishing, is a growing concern in the Atlantic herring fishery.



Out of Balance Report Out of Balance (2 Mb) – A comprehensive report detailing the pivotal role Atlantic herring play in the region’s ecosystem and economy and the threat of the industrial-scale herring fleet that jeopardizes the health of this key resource.

emptyrivers_thumb50Empty Rivers (5.7 Mb) – A special report revealing that river herring populations are disappearing from the Atlantic seaboard and that fishery managers need to pay more attention to bycatch at sea by industrial midwater trawl fishing.



Letters to regional fishery managers and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding meetings and requests for public comment.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Letter in support of the Commission's Draft Addendum VI to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Herring and a request that all proposed options in the addendum move forward for public comment.
May 16, 2013
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Letter urging the Commission's Menhaden Management Board to adopt Amendment 2, including a coastwide catch limit that will end overfishing and promote recovery of the Atlantic menhaden population and all of the other fisheries and wildlife that these fish support
November 16, 2012
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Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

Letter urging the New England Council's Herring Committee to establish a river herring/shad catch cap in the Atlantic herring fishery that is based on the best availble science and consistent with the goal to reduce catch of these species.
September 16, 2013
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Letter urging NMFS and the New England Council to work together to find solutions to the catch monitoring and accountability measures that were disapproved in Amendment 5.
September 16, 2013
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Letter urging NMFS to approve and implement Amendment 5, including critical monitoring and bycatch reduction reforms to industrial herring fishing.
June 21, 2013
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Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, Butterfish Fishery Management Plan

Letter on behalf of the Herring Alliance by Earthjustice provides recommendations for developing effective limits on the catch of river herring and shad.
May 21, 2013
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Scoping letter to the Mid-Atlantic Council requesting that Amendment 15 establish science-based catch limits, rebuilding plans, and other required measures to adequately conserve and manage depleted river herring and shad.
December 5, 2012
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Additional scoping letter to the Mid-Atlantic Council requesting that Amendment 15 include management alternatives to protect additional forage species, and prohibit new directed fisheries until scientific knowledge is available to manage them in an ecologically sustainable way.
December 12, 2012
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Herring Midwater Trawler Interactions with Groundfish

Letter urging NMFS to retain important reporting and monitoring requirements for midwater trawl vessels fishing in an area closed to protect rebuilding groundfish populations.
September 4, 2012
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Letter to NMFS outlining our concerns with the proposed rule for Framework 46, which lacks proper incentives for midwater trawl vessels to reduce their haddock bycatch.
August 3, 2011
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Letter to the NEFMC regarding the shortcomings of the current options in the Council's plan (Framework 46) to manage haddock bycatch in the directed herring fishery.
April 18, 2011
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River Herring Endangered Species Listing and Requests for Emergency Action

Letter to NMFS with information pertinent to the river herring Status Review being undertaken by the agency, and a request for a full and independent review.
January 27, 2012
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Letter urging NMFS to make a positive 90-day determination on a petition to list alewife and blueback herring as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act
October 25, 2011
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