U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a disaster declaration for the 2019 Atlantic herring fishery on Monday, Nov. 22.
“With this determination, we proudly support our fishing industry and will work with the affected communities to help them get back on track,” said Raimondo. “Resilient and sustainable fisheries are not only essential to our coastal communities, but play a vital role in supporting our blue economy and our nation’s overall economic wellbeing.”
The herring fishery historically supplied the bulk of the bait for the Northeast lobster fishery. In 2019, NMFS announced a 70 percent reduction in the catch quota, which left fishermen and bait suppliers scrambling for alternatives. The most complicating factor being that all bait species and types must be approved by NMFS. The herring fishery is based primarily in Maine and Massachusetts.
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