View Full Version : Herring Management Meeting

03-16-2005, 03:01 PM
Last Evening I attended a herring management meeting thanks to Mike Flaherty informing us of the situation. The room was filled with over 25 people from Bar Harbor, ME to Cape Cod who feel their livlihoods and recreational angling are being impacted by the herring trawlers. The meeting was hosted by the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Assoc and run by Mr. Peter Baker. There were many tuna fisherman including representatives from East Coast Tuna Assoc, tuna buyers, Northeast Seafood Coalition repreesntation by Mr. Godfried, Tuna Tackle dealers, charter boat operators and the Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Assoc Reps including Tom Depersia, myself and Tom King. There was a whale watching naturalist from Bar Harbor, Barry Gibson of the RFA, Ed Nowack from the Fisherman and one recreational angler by the name of Mike (Flatts). Pardon Me if I missed anyone. Also in attendance was Mr. Diodattti, MA State Director of Marine Fisheries and DR. Dave Pierce who is on the NEFMC as the MA Rep and Sen O'Leary from Cape Cod.

We all discussed the impact these trawlers make on the fisheries we are incolved in and that what is needed is a buffer zone to keep them offshore so the herring will be able to remain inshore during the tuna, bass and cod season. This meeting in my eyes was a success because no one was yelling at each other and everone respected each others opinion.

When the time comes (hopefully) where we need to write comments after a public notice regarding a buffer zone to keep large factory trawlers offshore, you better take the time to do it. If not, don't complain about skinny stripers and cod and how there is no tuna around. Mike Flaherty deserves alot of credit for what he has done keeping recreational anglers aware of the situation. When you see him and John thank them for allowing us to pass the word here on SB-com. Without this tool we would be further in the dark.


Dave Waldrip

03-17-2005, 08:59 AM
WOW! Thanks Dave! (and thanks JohnR too)

Amazing how this little fish is uniting so many groups that have been quarreling in recent past for whatever reasons. That's what happens when folks realize how fundamental the problem of lack forage is for all species further up the food chain.

How about when Mr. Diodati mentioned the fact that there is hard science indicating that 34'' stripers are now on average 9 pounds lighter than in the past.

We all hear about the problems with the "reduction" boats in the Mid Atlantic that literally vacume vast quantities of Menhaden. The same thing is starting to happen here in New England and we simply can't let it get anywhere near the same point.

Hats off to Peter Baker (comm groundfish rep) and Rich Ruais (comm tuna rep) for spearheading the Choir Coalition and arranging meetings like this one so our ALL of our concerns can be heard by the right folks.

Mike Flaherty
A recreational fisherman from Wareham, MA

CHOIR = Coalition for the Atlantic Herring Fishery's Orderly, Informed and Responsible Long-Term Development

03-17-2005, 10:44 AM
:kewl: The issue was brought up quite a few times at the public hearing Monday night. My favorite takeaway quote from that was " The herring dont make it up to the bucky brooks, if they're on some skillet in Russia do they?"

03-17-2005, 12:59 PM
so glad something's actualy getting done

03-17-2005, 02:52 PM
I was going to go to the Buckeye Brook meeting Tuesday night but had a school commitee meeting instead (that my topic of interest did not even get addressed :rollem: )

Anyone go to the Buckeye Brook meeting?



03-17-2005, 04:09 PM
Folks, please keep in mind that the meeting that Dave and I were referring to was regarding Sea Herring, not River Herring. Although there is also cause for concern that river herring are being caught in vast quantities by commercial fishermen targeting sea herring.


03-17-2005, 04:34 PM
I see both as being important to our fisheries.

Im quite sure that when they had the tuna tournaments off of scarborough beach, there werent any russian trawlers in the area, vaccuming up everything in sight that had fins n scales

03-18-2005, 10:24 AM
River herring are in the sea for 10 or 11 months out of the year. They are only in the river for a very short time. Juveniles don't return to spawn until they are 4 years old. So river herring are really sea herring when you think about it.

03-19-2005, 08:20 AM
Flatts, I would personally like to thank you for all of the hard work you have done on this important subject and others.

I would also like to add this small piece wriiten by Dr. Micheal Armstrong a biologist with Mass DMF

With all the uncertainty that can occur when the
herring are in the rivers, less is known about what
happens to them when they leave in July to spend the
winter in the ocean.
Some believe trawlers looking for sea herring and
mackerel are catching the river herring incidentally
as bycatch.
"We know that in the winter that, to some degree, the
runs stick together and mix it up with the sea
herring," Mr. Armstrong said. "They certainly don't
target them, but they can pick away at them. They are
landing 300,000 pounds at a whack. So say that the
Mattapoisett River run is 100,000 fish, which is about
50,000 pounds. In theory you could catch an entire run
of fish. It could wipe them out."

I will do whatever I can to help our situation, let us know. Thanks Red


03-19-2005, 10:23 PM
Thanks Redliner,

Actually, you will find that quote from Mr. Armstrong on page 17 of 27 of my herring comments to NMFS that I submitted on March 2 (still haven't heard back).

Where else did you find that quote? It's good to know that others are on the ball with this issue?

I'll keep you all posted as to what folks can do to help whenever I hear about it.

Although at this point I'm not optomistic and I fear that the damage may already be done. I say this because the herring process has already been dragged out for so long and the result has been a 2 YEAR SPEC (instead of the usual 1 year). This means that we may be stuck with continued unsustainable fishing practices for 2 more years before something gets done about it (and no gurantees it will happen by then either). Technically, it can be revisited before then but I don't think the "will" is there for it at the Council level.

As we have seen time and time again, often it takes a lawsuit to have NEFMC do the right thing, and I'm seriously considering filing one depending on what the final rule from NMFS is. We should hear about that any day now.

Thanks Again,