Adjustment 6 and 2019-2021 Atlantic Herring Fishery Specifications
This action sets the herring specifications for 2020-2021, including the catch caps for river herring and shad, consistent with New England Council recommendations.
- This action sets the herring specifications for the 2019-2021 fishing years as follows:
- Set the overfishing limit at 41,830 mt for 2020 and at 69,064 mt for 2021;
- Set allowable biological catch (ABC) at 16,131 mt for 2020 and 2021;
- Set Border Transfer at 100 mt;
- Maintain status quo river herring and shad catch caps; and
- Set all other specifications, including management area sub-ACLs (annual catch limits), fixed gear set-aside, and research set-aside, using status quo methodologies.
- Although the 2019 fishing year has ended, this action reaffirms the 2019 specifications initially established through an inseason action implemented in February 2019.
This action updates the overfished and overfishing definitions for the herring stock.
- The action makes the definitions more consistent with the 2018 herring stock assessment and with those used for other stocks in the region.
- Updating these definitions is largely an administrative change that is not expected to impact commercial fisheries.
This action suspends the carryover of unharvested catch in the herring fishery for 2020-2021.
- Currently up to 10 percent of a herring management area’s unharvested sub-ACL is carried over and added to the sub-ACL for that area in a subsequent year.
- Carryover is being suspended because the amount of carryover from 2018 (just under 5,000 mt) and potentially 2019 is substantial relative to the ACLs for 2020 and 2021 (11,571 mt) and may have distributional impacts on fishery participants if it results in increased fishing in certain areas relative to others and is consistent with the Council’s conservative management due to the current status of the herring stock and the uncertainty surrounding estimates of biomass and recruitment.
- Given the low estimate of herring biomass, concentrating fishing effort and catch in certain management areas resulting from carryover could have negative impacts on the herring stock.