Destructive Fishing Fleet Shipped Offshore CLF Teams with Fishermen to Protect Gulf of Maine Food Supply for Cod, Tuna, Striped Bass, and Whales

Brian Barth

Contact:
Roger Fleming
Senior Staff Attorney, (207)729-7733

New England (March 16, 2006) – The Conservation Law Foundation, New England’s leading ocean advocacy organization, today applauded the National Marine Fisheries Service for its final approval of Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The new plan includes an important new provision to help restore the region’s herring stocks by protecting the Gulf of Maine from the destructive fishing practices of large mid-water trawl vessels.

“The Atlantic herring is one the most important building blocks of the ocean,” said CLF Senior Attorney Roger Fleming . “Amendment 1 will help restore our region’s struggling fisheries and support the local fishermen that depend on them for economic survival.”

Herring are a vital food source for depleted fish stocks like cod and haddock. Lobstermen need herring for bait and they are an important source of forage for whales, tuna, striped bass, and other marine life. Herring populations have been threatened by industrial scale mid-water trawl fishing boats that indiscriminately destroy herring populations by dragging huge nets through inshore waters.

To protect Atlantic herring and the ocean ecosystem,CLF worked with the CHOIR Coalition, a group of local commercial and recreational fishermen and ecotourism businesses to develop a “Buffer Zone” that will prohibit trawlers from near-shore waters during the summer spawning period. Trawl boat owners tried unsuccessfully to kill final approval of this proposal.

– The Final Rule for Amendment 1 can be downloaded at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-4163.pdf

– Amendment 1 and the regulations approved by NMFS can be downloaded at: http://www.nefmc.org/herring/index.html

– For more information on the CHOIR coalition visit: http://www.choircoalition.org/

The Conservation Law Foundation works to solve the environmental problems that threaten the people, natural resources and communities of New England . CLF’ s advocates use law, economics and science to design and implement strategies that conserve natural resources, protect public health, and promote vital communities in our region. Founded in 1966, CLF is a nonprofit, member-supported organization. It has offices in Boston , Massachusetts ; Concord , New Hampshire ; Providence , Rhode Island ; Montpelier , Vermont ; and Brunswick , Maine .

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