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Fisheries Overseer Limits River Herring Catch

Fisheries Overseer Limits River Herring Catch

Maine Public Broadcasting Network
09/26/2013 5:45 PM ET

Environmental advocates in the northeast are welcoming a decision by fishery regulators to impose catch limits on river herring and shad.

PORTLAND, Maine (MPBN) _ Meeting in Hyannis Massachusetts today, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to set the region's first cap on accidental bycatch of the small anadromous fish, including alewives.

The measure aims to prevent large Atlantic Herring trawlers from scooping up too many river herring as they're targeting other fish.

From now on they'll have to keep their total annual bycatch below about 86 metric tons if they want to continue fishing.

Peter Baker from the Pew Environmental Group said the Council's decision is good news for Maine taxpayers.

"The State of Maine is spending millions of dollars to take down dams so these little fish can swim upriver and spawn," Baker said. "And if we're wasting these fish at sea throwing them overboard dead, they we're wasting the taxpayers money who are paying to take these dams down and restore these rivers."

Baker said despite some recent improvements due to restoration efforts, the river herring and shad populations are still near historic lows.

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