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Atlantic Herring Framework 8 Interim Final Rule: 2021-2023 Quotas

March 29, 2021

This action reduces the Atlantic herring quotas for 2021-2023 as compared to 2020, and modifies in-season management measures to allow the Atlantic herring fleet more access to the Atlantic mackerel fishery.

NOAA Fisheries is implementing Framework 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan, as recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. This action sets the specifications for the 2021-2023 fishing years for Atlantic herring.

The specifications reduce catch limits by 40% for 2021, and further reductions for 2022-2023 because the June 2020 management track assessment determined Atlantic herring is overfished. These 2021-2023 catch limits are also consistent with the Council’s harvest policy, which accounts for herring’s important role as a forage species.

Comparison of Current and Framework 8 Atlantic Herring Specifications (mt) for 2021-2023

 Specifications

Current 2021
Specifications

Framework 8 Specifications

2021

2022-2023

Area 1A Sub-ACL

3,344*

1,391

1,184*

Area 1B Sub-ACL

498

207

176*

Area 2 Sub-ACL

3,217

1,338

1,139*

Area 3 Sub-ACL

4,513

1,877

1,598*

Fixed Gear Set-Aside

30

30

30

Research Set-Aside

0% of sub-ACLs

0% of sub-ACLs

0%**

 

* 10-year average of New Brunswick weir landings.
** Proposed to be revisited for 2023-2025 specifications.

 

Atlantic herring management areas

Framework 8 also allows for carryover of up to 5 percent of unharvested catch from each management area, adjusts the research set-aside allocations, and maintains the current river herring and shad catch limits.

Summary of 2021 Adjusted sub-ACLs (mt)

Management Area

2021 Adjusted Sub-ACLs

1A

1,609

1B

239

2

652

3

2,181

 

To mitigate the impact of the reductions in Atlantic herring catch limits, this action also modifies herring management measures to support access to the Atlantic mackerel fishery by:

  • Creating a two-tiered possession limit adjustment in Herring Management Areas 2 and 3 once the directed fishery closes, and
  • Removing the seasonal closure of Area 1B from January to April

These measures will provide more access earlier in the year to target mackerel.

Read the interim final rule as published in the Federal Register and submit your comments through the online portal beginning on April 1, 2021 by searching for NOAA-NMFS-2021-0025.

The effective date for this rule is: 03-29-2021.

The comments due date is 05-03-2021.

Questions?

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, (978) 281-9175
Fishermen: Contact Aly Pitts, Regional Office, (978) 281-9358

 

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on March 29, 2021