Maine’s Lobster Industry Braces for ‘Catastrophic’ Cuts to Bait Fish Catch

BRUNSWICK, Maine — For the second year in a row, federal regulators have dramatically reduced the amount of Atlantic herring fishermen can haul after scientists counted far fewer juvenile Atlantic herring in the waters from Canada to New Jersey.

While determining that Atlantic herring, the chief bait used by lobstermen, is not overfished, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said “recruitment” — the number of juvenile herring — is so low that last Friday they finalized a rule reducing by more than half the amount of Atlantic herring that fishermen may catch in 2019, from 50,000 metric tons to 21,000 metric tons.

Regulators hope the dramatic cut will prevent or reduce the risk of the fishery becoming depleted, NOAA said in a release.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Bangor Daily News