Framework Adjustment 6 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan

May 05, 2020

NOAA Fisheries approves Framework 6 including the 2020-2021 Atlantic Herring Specifications. Effective May 5, 2020.

We approved specifications and management measures for the Atlantic herring fishery for the 2020-2021 fishing years. The Atlantic herring catch limits for 2020 and 2021 are slightly lower than those for 2019, while river herring/shad catch caps remain at the 2019 values.

 

        Approved 2020-2021 Atlantic Herring Specifications Compared to 2019 (mt)

 

2019

2020-2021

Overfishing Limit

30,668

41,830 – 2020

69,064 – 2021

Allowable Biological Catch (ABC)

21,266

16,131

Management Uncertainty

6,200

4,560

Optimum Yield/ Annual Catch Limit (ACL)

15,065*

11,571*

Domestic Annual Harvest

15,065

11,571

Border Transfer

0

100

Domestic Annual Processing

15,065

11,471

U.S. At-Sea Processing

0

0

Area 1A Sub-ACL (28.9 %)

4,354*

3,344*

Area 1B Sub-ACL (4.3 %)

647

498

Area 2 Sub-ACL (27.8 %)

4,188

3,217

Area 3 Sub-ACL (39%)

5,876

4,513

Fixed Gear Set-Aside

39

30

Research Set-Aside

3 percent of each sub-ACL

3 percent of each sub-ACL

* If New Brunswick weir landings are less than 2,942 mt through October 1, then 1,000 mt will be subtracted from the management uncertainty buffer and added to the Area 1A sub-ACL and ACL.  Thus, the Area 1A sub-ACL would increase to 4,344 mt, and the ACL would increase to 12,571 mt.

 

 

Approved River Herring/Shad Catch Caps (mt)

 

Gulf Of Maine

Cape Cod

Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic

Total

Midwater Trawl

76.7

32.4

129.6

238.7

Bottom Trawl

n/a

n/a

122.3

122.3

 

Questions and Answers

What else does this rule implement?

  • This rule temporarily suspends the carryover of unharvested herring catch during 2020 and 2021 because the amount of carryover from 2018, and potentially 2019, is substantial.  High levels of carryover may have distributional impacts on the herring stock and fishery participants if it results in increased fishing in certain areas.
  • This rule updates the herring overfished and overfishing definitions, consistent with Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan.
  • This rule makes administrative clarifications and corrections to existing regulations.

Why are we reducing Atlantic herring catch limits?

  • Reduced catch limits are intended to provide for a sustainable herring fishery and were developed consistent with the Council’s harvest policy for herring developed in Amendment 8.  For 2021, the ABC remains the same as in 2020 to buffer against the uncertainty in the estimates of herring biomass and recruitment in 2021.

When is the next Atlantic herring stock assessment?

  • The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has updated their stock assessment schedule for herring such that future assessments will occur every two years, with the next herring assessment scheduled for 2020.

When will new Atlantic herring specifications be developed?

  • The New England Council will consider the 2020 stock assessment when developing new herring specifications for 2021-2023. New specifications for 2021 may replace the 2021 specifications approved in this action.

Questions?

Contact Carrie Nordeen at carrie.nordeen@noaa.gov; 978-281-9272

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on May 05, 2020