View Full Version : Midwater herring trawlers are back starting tomorrow

09-30-2007, 07:06 PM
(Posted this on the Tuna forum, but wanted to post here as well...)

Well, after a long summer that showed a lot of improvements in the GOM, it is all going to come to and end soon as starting tomorrow, 10/1, the midwater herring trawlers will be back in Area 1A again.

There is a spawning closure in place in the western GOM that will keep all herring boats out out of Ipswich Bay and Jeffreys and places like that, but that spawning closure expires in 2 weeks, at which point they will all be back in close to shore, pounding all those places inshore. Anywhere east of Jeffreys will be wide open though starting tomorrow (that includes north and east of the northern tip of Cape Cod, as well as in places like the Kettle off Mid Coast, Maine.)

We have talked a bunch here already about the improvements this summer without midwater trawling, but starting tomorrow, the boats will be out and hungrier than ever before. They have been waiting all summer to get back out and you can bet they will fish very hard. There is also a chance that they will do what they did in May, which is that they catch so much so fast that NMFS closes them after they have gone way over the quota.

Bottom line is that we need to get midwater gear out of the inshore areas off all of New England, year round, and as soon as possible. The damage that will be done to the areas we all fish in the coming weeks will be a disaster. As someone who fishes off Maine, I feel that our season may as well be over, because there will be no tuna left within a week or two.

We have a very important meeting in a month that will decide whether we can get more changes in the herring fishery this year or next...we will all need to do our part. Soon I will post sample letters and everyone needs to send them in this time. If we cannot get herring addressed this year, it will be 2010 at the earliest before any changes are made.

Stay tuned for ways to help...I should have stuff up here by mid week. In the meantime, get out and fish if you fish the GOM, because it will not be long before the bait is wiped out and everything is gone. And bring your cameras, you never know what can happen when fishing around midwater boats.