Durham, N.H. — Commercial fishermen will be prohibited from landing Atlantic herring (sea herring) taken from Management Area 1A effective 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2011, because herring harvesters are projected to reach 95% of the allowable harvest quota for the period. The closure will remain in effect through midnight on December 31, 2011.

The landing restriction is in accordance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Atlantic Herring Management Plan, which addresses the need to control “effort” (fishing days) in the fishery to prevent harvesters from exceeding the Total Allowable Catch for each management area, which can trigger early closure. Management Area 1A is of particular concern because in recent years the Total Allowable Catch has been harvested before peak market demands abate in the autumn. States involved in the herring fishery are allowed to extend the fishery by controlling fishing effort through landing restrictions. The goal is to provide a consistent supply of herring to the market by controlling landings.

An exception to the rule is that any vessel may land herring taken as an incidental catch in ASMFC Management Area 1A, up to a maximum of 2,000 pounds.

For more information about the closure, call the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Marine Fisheries Division, located in Fish and Game’s Region 3 Office in Durham, N.H., at 603-868-1095.

Landing restrictions for Atlantic herring for the period January 1 – December 31, 2012, will be established at a later date, following a meeting of the ASMFC Atlantic Herring Section.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission serves as a deliberative body coordinating the conservation and management of the 15 Atlantic coast states’ shared near-shore fishery resources for sustainable use. Visit http://www.asmfc.org.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. Visit http://www.wildnh.com/marine.

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