Proposed cut for herring harvest could affect lobster catch

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fishermen who seek one of the most important bait fish on the East Coast are likely to see a dramatic reduction in the amount they are allowed to harvest next year.

Commercial fisheries for herring are a major industry in the Atlantic states, where the little fish is important as lobster bait and also eaten by people. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it wants to cut the annual catch limit from nearly 110 million pounds (49.9 million kilograms) this year to less than half that in 2019.

The agency says in a statement that the deep cut is needed to “prevent overfishing.” A recent scientific assessment of the herring stock says the fish’s population has fallen in the past five years.

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