New England Fishery Management Council

ROCKPORT, Maine - Changes could be coming to the harvest of a small fish that supports one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast.
Federal fishing managers have debated changes to the harvest of Atlantic herring in recent years, and the potential new rules are headed for public comment this month and next. Herring are small schooling fish that are harvested in the hundreds of millions of pounds annually to supply food, bait and fish oil.

Fishing managers are recommending that cod remain off limits to recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Maine.

Cod were once harvested in colossal numbers from New England waters, but the population has collapsed in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere. The New England Fishery Management Council is calling on the federal government to maintain a year-round ban on possession of Gulf of Maine cod by recreational fishermen.

Northeast fishing managers say offshore drilling for oil and gas off of New England and the mid-Atlantic states could jeopardize marine life and industries.

The New England Fishery Management Council agreed to send a letter to the federal Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management on Tuesday calling for the exclusion of East Coast waters from oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf region. The council reports to the federal government and its recommendation applies from Maine to North Carolina.

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. fishing regulators say they have signed off on a catch share agreement with Canada that would give American fishermen less access to haddock and slightly more access to cod in a key fishing area.
The U.S. shares the total allowable catch for eastern Georges Bank cod and haddock with Canada. Eastern Georges Bank is a piece of ocean located east of New England and south of Nova Scotia.

PORTLAND, Maine - Fishing regulators are starting the process of changing the way the East Coast scallop fishery is managed, with an eye toward avoid more conflicts between small- and big-boat fishermen.
The New England Fishery Management Council decided to initiate changes on Tuesday. Small boats have been in conflict with big boats in the northern Gulf of Maine in recent months.

PORTLAND, Maine - Regional fishery regulators have been trying to balance conservation concerns against the needs of the commercial fishing industry this week.

They've been tackling the complicated issue of habitat amendment in federal waters from Maine to Connecticut.

MYSTIC, Conn. - The New England Fishery Management Council has opened some areas up to limited fishing, but has approved the majority of habitat protection measures being put forward.


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Regional fishing industry regulators have rejected a plan to list river herring and shad as part of the Atlantic Herring fishery.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Federal regulators are recommending a host of new restrictions to protect the Gulf of Maine's declining cod fishery.

The federal New England Fishery Management Council's Groundfish Oversight Committee on Wednesday recommended a battery of changes, including implementing expansions to existing inshore spawning closures. The panel also requested a review of the extent of cod by-catch in the lobster fishery.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The New England Fishery Management Council will not allow Atlantic herring fishermen to exceed their limit for haddock bycatch this year.
    The council denied the request at a meeting Friday. Federal regulators say Atlantic herring fishermen who fish from mid-water trawl boats are on track this year to exceed their limit for incidental catch of haddock in Georges Bank. That would trigger rules that would effectively shut down the herring fishery.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The New England Fishery Management Council is asking the federal government to consider allowing fishermen to catch more haddock in the Gulf of Maine this year.
    The council voted Wednesday to ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to raise the haddock catch limit for the 2014 fishing year. The fishing year began May 1 and ends April 30, 2015. The catch limit is currently close to 700,000 pounds.
    The council's proposal passed by a vote of 15-1.