Anglers seek trawler buffer zone as Atlantic herring stock declines

Recreational fishermen in New England say commercial trawlers are threatening the survival of smaller businesses relying on a healthy stock of Atlantic herring. Rich Hittinger, first vice president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, said years of overfishing depleted the population and continue to have negative effects on the ocean ecosystem. “The predator fish, like the striped bass, they’re scrounging for anything that they can eat,” Hittinger observed. “And we often see fish that are long and thin because they’re really not getting sufficient nutrition.” Hittinger noted anglers want the New England Fishery Management Council to reestablish a 12-mile offshore buffer zone to force large commercial trawlers out to sea and reduce conflicts with businesses closer to shore. The council is accepting public comments through April. more, >>click to read<< 06:27

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