Atlantic Herring Plan Overview

The Atlantic herring fishery is managed through an overall annual catch limit (ACL, reduced from the overfishing limit and acceptable biological catch to address scientific uncertainty and management uncertainty) and sub-ACLs for management areas that are designed to prevent overfishing on individual stock components. ACLs and sub-ACLs are set through a specifications process every three years, based on the best available scientific information. The Atlantic herring resource is not overfished, and overfishing is not occurring.

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Plan Amendments, Frameworks, and Specifications

Plan Amendments

Under Development
May 12, 2015
Under Development
December 4, 2014
Omnibus Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment
June 30, 2015
This action establishes standards of precision for bycatch estimation for all Northeast Region fisheries.
March 25, 2013
Amendment 5 was developed to: Improve the collection of real-time, accurate catch information; enhance the monitoring and sampling of catch at-sea; and address bycatch issues through responsible management.
April 23, 2010
Final specifications for the 2010–2012 fishing years for the Atlantic herring (herring) fishery. The intent of this final rule is to conserve and manage the herring resource and provide for a sustainable fishery. This final rule also makes minor corrections to existing regulations.
April 9, 2018
This action implements approved regulations for the New England Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2. This rule revises essential fish habitat and habitat area of particular concern designations, revises or creates habitat management areas, including gear restrictions, to protect vulnerable habitat from fishing gear impacts, establishes dedicated habitat research areas, and implements several administrative measures related to reviewing these measures, as well as other regulatory adjustments to implement these measures. This action is necessary to comply with the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to periodically review essential fish habitat designations and protections. The measures are designed to minimize to the extent practicable the adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat.
February 27, 2008
Part of SBRM. NMFS is implementing approved management measures contained in the Standardized Bycatch Reporting
June 1, 2007
Amendment 1 establishes a limited access program. Amendment 1 also includes the following measures: An open access incidental catch permit; a change in the management area boundaries; establishment of a purse seine/fixed gear-only area; establishment of a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) proxy; an approach to determining the distribution of area-specific Total Allowable Catches (TACs); a multi-year specifications process; a research quota set-aside for herring-related research; a set-aside for fixed gear fisheries; a change in the midwater trawl gear definition; and additional measures that could be implemented through the framework adjustment process. Also, NMFS informs thepublic of the approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the collection-ofinformation requirements contained in this final rule and publishes the OMB control numbers for these collections.

Framework Adjustments/Specifications

December 1, 2016
NMFS is implementing final specifications and management measures for the 2016–2018 Atlantic herring fishery.
February 26, 2015
Framework 4 was developed to further enhance catch monitoring and address discarding in the herring fishery.
July 8, 2014
NMFS implements final regulations to establish a process for setting river herring (alewife and blueback) and shad (American and hickory) catch caps for the herring fishery.
September 30, 2013
NMFS is implementing Framework Adjustment 2 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (Framework 2) and the 2013–2015 fishery specifications for the Atlantic herring fishery (2013–2015 specifications).
February 16, 2010
NMFS announces final specifications for the 2010–2012 fishing years for the Atlantic herring (herring) fishery. The intent of this final rule is to conserve and manage the herring resource and provide for a sustainable fishery. This final rule also makes minor corrections to existing regulations.
January 24, 2002
This final rule modifies the annual specification of herring quota for Management Area 1A by establishing two quota periods.