Atlantic Herring Fishery 2019 Specifications and River Herring and Shad Catch Caps

February 07, 2019

This action implements an in-season adjustment to the Atlantic herring specifications and sub-annual catch limits for 2019. These adjustments are necessary to reduce 2018 herring catch limits that would otherwise remain in effect for 2019. This action is expected to prevent overfishing of the herring resource and lower the risk of the stock becoming overfished.

We used an in-season adjustment to reduced 2018 Atlantic herring specifications and sub-annual catch limits (ACLs) for 2019 to prevent overfishing and lower the risk of the Atlantic herring stock becoming overfished. All other Atlantic herring specifications, including river herring and shad catch caps, remain unchanged from 2018.

2019 Atlantic Herring Specifications (mt)

Overfishing Limit

30,668

Acceptable Biological Catch

21,266

Management Uncertainty

6,200

Annual Catch Limit (ACL)/Optimum Yield

15,065*

Domestic Annual Harvest

15,065

Border Transfer

0

Domestic Annual Processing

15,065

U.S. At-Sea Processing

0

Area 1A Sub-ACL (28.9%)

4,354*

Area 1B Sub-ACL (4.3%)

647

Area 2 Sub-ACL (27.8%)

4,188

Area 3 Sub-ACL (39%)

5,876

Fixed Gear Set-Aside

39

Research Set-Aside

3% of sub-ACLs

* If New Brunswick weir fishery catch through October 1 is less than 4,000 mt, then 1,000 mt will be subtracted from the management uncertainty buffer and added to the ACL and Area 1A Sub-ACL.

The 2018 Atlantic herring stock assessment concluded that while Atlantic herring was not overfished and overfishing was not occurring in 2017, Atlantic herring catch would need to be reduced to prevent overfishing and lower the risk of the stock becoming overfished.

 The New England Fishery Management Council requested we use an in-season adjustment to reduce 2018 Atlantic herring catch limits for 2019. We published a proposed rule in November 2018. The herring acceptable biological catch we proposed for 2019, as well as the resulting ACL and sub-ACLs, while consistent with methods used to set recent specifications, were higher than catch limits recommended by the Council.

At its December 2018 meeting, the Council reviewed our proposed Atlantic herring catch limits for 2019 and recommended that we further reduce herring catch limits to achieve conservation and management objectives. We work closely with the Council for sustainable management of New England fisheries. The Council develops harvest policies for its fisheries and we tend to defer harvest policy decisions to the Council, unless those policies are inconsistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act or other applicable law.

We reduced the 2018 Atlantic herring specifications and sub-ACLs for 2019 to achieve conservation and management objectives, consistent with the Council’s recommendations, Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan objectives, and other Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan provisions.

River herring and shad catch caps for 2019 remain unchanged for 2019.

2019 River Herring and Shad Catch Caps

Area

Gear

Amount (mt)

Gulf Of Maine

Midwater Trawl

76.7

Cape Cod

Midwater Trawl

32.4

Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic

Midwater Trawl

129.6

Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic

Bottom Trawl

122.3

Total

All Gears

361.0

 

Last updated by on February 07, 2019