Last updated on 19 October 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Clupea harengus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Atlantic herring

The herring resource was previously divided into the Georges Bank and Gulf of Maine stocks, based not on genetic but morphometric differences (Overholtz, 2006) and the Georges Bank/Nantucket Shoals and coastal Gulf of Maine herring have been identified as two distinct spawning components with many smaller units embeeded within those (Vonderweidt et al., 2008). However during most of the year herring are mixed and are caught together in the fisheries and in research surveys so the components are combined for assessment and management purposes into a single coastal stock complex.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Stock is at an all time high with good recruitment and low removals relative to reference points. Assessment captures both ecosystem roles of herring as forage as well as uncertainty.The current assessment was a vast improvement in diagnostics form previous assessment. Managers follow scientific advise and set precautionary quotas.At-sea observer coverage of bycatch is high.

Weaknesses

There is still considerable uncertainty in the assessment.The strength of the 2008 year class is questionable. Some bycatch of River herring (a species of concern) is noted.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

9.7

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

7.1

Future Health:

9.9


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank United States Midwater trawls
Seine nets

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Strengths

Stock is at an all time high with good recruitment and low removals relative to reference points. Assessment captures both ecosystem roles of herring as forage as well as uncertainty.The current assessment was a vast improvement in diagnostics form previous assessment. Managers follow scientific advise and set precautionary quotas.At-sea observer coverage of bycatch is high.

Weaknesses

There is still considerable uncertainty in the assessment.The strength of the 2008 year class is questionable. Some bycatch of River herring (a species of concern) is noted.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 23 February 2016

The current assessment captures both stock uncertainty as well as the role of herring as a forage species for other important commercially and recreational harvested stocks.However there is still some uncertainty that the current model does not capture, such as recruitment variability and short term changes in natural mortality (NMFS, 2013).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Advice to management has been based on the analytical model used (NMFS, 2013), with reference points and projections which capture some or a good portion of the scientific uncertainty. Additionally advice is also given on how to parse the quotas among recognized discreet spawning sub-units, which is used to limit the risk of localized depletion of these smaller units.

Reference Points

Last updated on 23 Feb 2016

Reference points are calculated within the model structure for continuity.MSY based reference points are used to manage this stock and in setting quotas. These updated reference points in the latest assessment account for increased natural mortality as a result of predation and so account for herrings role as a forage stock in this ecosystem.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Current stock biomass is at a historical high.Exploitation is withing limits and the stock seems to overall be doing well(NMFS, 2013).

Trends

Last updated on 23 Feb 2016

Over the past few decades the biomass has rebuilt following the collapse of this stock due to over exploitation. Currently biomass has has recently declined steadily, but within the last year has dramatically rebounded due to high recruitment.This recruitment even is uncertain, and if not as high as currently though will have management impacts during the next assessment/management cycle (NMFS, 2013).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Managers set precautionary quotas by area and seasons. Also a portion of the stock is harvested by the Canadian New Brunswick weir fishery. As such those removals are also accounted for in quota setting by assuming the most recent average catch.There is currently no formal agreement in place between the US and Canada however. So overages by that fishery are not easily reconciled within the year.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 23 Feb 2016

Not applicable.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Compliance by fishers appears to be strong, based on available information. Vessels must electronically report trip level information daily. A Satellite based vessel monitoring system is in place.Dealer and harvester reports are cross-checked routinely.And both dock side and at-sea observations of the catch and bycatch are high.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 23 February 2016

Numerous species of protected and/or endangered speciescan be found in the areas where the herring fishery occurs: 15 species of cetaceans, 4 species of sea turtles; 2 species of fish (Shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic salmon); and 4 species of pinnipeds. Among these, several species of cetaceans, pinnipeds and sea turtles are known or suspected to interacting and potentially be affected by the herring fishery. The species described as most affected by the mid-water trawl or purse seine directed herring fisheries are Long-finned pilot whale, Short-finned pilot whale, Minke whale, White-sided dolphin, Bottlenosed dolphin, Common dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, White-sided dolphin, Harbor Seal, gray seal and Harbor porpoise. Most species are more vulnerable to mid-water trawling; although reported numbers of incidental catches were of less than 10 per year, between 2006 and 2009 (NEFMC, 2010).

Several actions to mitigate the impact of the herring fishery on protected species are in place, and most are being implemented under the Atlantic Trawl Gear Take Reduction Strategy (ATGTRS) for the Northeast Region (NEFMC, 2010).

Herring is an important prey species for seabirds and marine mammals and there have been suggestions that this should be explicitly accounted for under the management strategy (Read & Brownstein, 2003). Seabird bycatch does not appear to be a risk with the otter trawls and purse seines which are mostly used by the fishery and sea turtles are also not thought to be at risk, based on information from similar fisheries and the lack of habitat overlap between the species (ASMFC, 2006).

Other Species

Last updated on 23 February 2016

A 1997-1998 monitoring study found the herring fishery to be clean in terms of bycatch – only dogfish and mackerel were caught in significant quantities and the only gadoid caught was whiting, in small amounts (Stevenson & Scully, 1999). Data from 2006 midwater trawl trips similarly list dogfish but haddock and redfish are also caught in large quantities (NEFMC, 2007) and an incidental haddock catch allowance is specified for the herring fishery, set at 246 t for the period from May 1 2008 to April 30, 2009 (NEFMC, 2008).

Latest Atlantic herring assessment referred dogfish and mackerel as the main bycatch species (NEFMC, 2010), although river herring bycatch in the Atlantic herring directed fishery has been also addressed. Cieri et al. (2008) estimated that 1.7 million pounds (c. 773 tonnes) of river herring were caught as bycatch during 2007. Data from the 2007-2009 oberved trips indicated that 15-20% of the discards were dogfish, although overfishing is not presently considered to be occuring (NEFMC, 2010). Mackerel represents the second most retained species in the herring fishery (after herring), but the major mackerel proportion (80-85%) is discarded (NEFMC, 2010).
 
A bycatch monitoring and other future actions such as criteria for midwater trawl to groundfish closed areas, and measures to protect herring spawning components are to be implemented under future amendments to the herring Fishery Management Plan (NEFMC, 2010).

HABITAT

Last updated on 23 February 2016

The seabed of the Gulf of Maine and georges bank have been studied in detail and include a great diversity of bottom habitat types, such as offshore sandbanks, rocky areas, irregular ridges, and muddy basins (NEFMC, 2010). In terms of biomass, Theroux and Wigley (1998) reported that the most common benthic invertebrates in the Gulf of Maine are bivalves (24%), sea cucumbers (22%), sand dollars (18%), annelids (12%), and sea anemones; yet benthic assemblages change between habitat types (NEFMC, 2010).

Mid-water trawls are used to target herring off Georges Bank while a mixture of fixed and mobile gears (single and paired mid-water trawls) are used in coastal areas of the Gulf of Maine. The impact of mid-water trawls upon the environment is reckoned to be minimal and/or temporary (NEFMC, 2010).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 23 Feb 2016

Single or midwater trawling is not permitted in area 1A (inshore Gulf of Maine) from June 1 to September 30 of each year (Vonderweidt et al., 2008). Spawning closures in the Gulf of Maine are enforced for a four-week period, extendable for a further two, when spawning is detected (ASMFC, 2006).

Several marine protected areas exist in the U.S. coastal region and a Canadian migratory bird sanctuary also exists within the herring resource’s distribution but none are known to limit fishing (Wood, 2007).

An Essential Fish Habitat network is expected to be implemented in 2011, providing increased protection to several fish species and benthic habitats (NEFMC, 2010).

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

A harvest control rule specifies that at biomass below BMSY, F be reduced to FThreshold, the level that has a 50% probability of rebuilding the stock within 5 years.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the ABC.

The Set TAC is 91.2 ('000 t). The ABC is 107 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/ABC for this index is 85.2%.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 9.7.

This measures the Catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Catch is 93.1 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 91.2 ('000 t) .

The underlying Catch/Set TAC for this index is 102%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 7.1.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the SSBmsy.

The SSB is 518 ('000 t). The SSBmsy is 671 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/SSBmsy for this index is 77.2%.

As calculated for 2011 data.

The score is 9.9.

This measures the F as a percentage of the F management limit.

The F is 0.140 (age-averaged). The F management limit is 0.270 .

The underlying F/F management limit for this index is 51.9%.

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES

Note:

1) TAC is for U.S. fleet only. An allocation of 20,000 tons has previously been provided for Canadian landings. Average Canadian catch since 1999 eliminating the highest and lowest years has been 14,825 tons (NEFMC, 2009b) and it has been recommended that the 2010 Canadian allocation be reduced to that level.

2) The precaution of the management strategy (score #1) has been determined qualitatively, as the target fishing mortality to be adopted at low biomass levels is determined based on a five-year rebuilding schedule (NMFC, 2010).

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. ASMFC, 2006. Fishery Management Report No. 45 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan For Atlantic Herring.http://www.asmfc.org/
  2. ASMFC, 2009. Overview of Stock Status: Atlantic Herring, Clupea Harengus.http://www.asmfc.org/
  3. Cieri, M., Nelson, G.and Armstrong, M., 2008. Estimates of River Herring Bycatch in the Directed Atlantic Herring Fishery. September 23, 2008. Report prepared for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. 17 pp.http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/spotlight/river_herring_bycatch_cieri_et_al.pdf
  4. NEFMC, 2007. Atlantic Herring Stock/Fishery Update. New England Fishery Management Council, September 7 2007.http://www.nefmc.org/herring/
  5. NEFMC, 2008. Atlantic Herring Stock/Fishery Update. New England Fishery Management Council, May 19 2008.http://www.nefmc.org/herring/
  6. NEFMC, 2009.a Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) value for the Gulf of Maine / Georges Bank Atlantic herring complex – Response to Council Motion. New England Fishery Management Council, September 23, 2009.http://www.nefmc.org/tech/council_mtg_docs/Nov%202009/1_SSC%20doc%20for%20web.pdf
  7. NEFMC, 2009b. Draft Proposed Atlantic Herring Specifications for the 2010-2012 Fishing years (January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2012) Discussion Document. New England Fishery Management Council, November 3, 2009.http://www.nefmc.org/herring/index.html
  8. NEFMC, 2010. Proposed Atlantic Herring Specifications for the 2010-2012 Fishing Years (January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2012). New England Fishery Management Council, 16 February 2010.http://www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/regs/frdoc/10/10Her2010SpecsEA.pdf
  9. NMFS, 2012. 54th Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (54th SAW) Assessment Summary Report for Atlantic Herring.Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document 12-14 http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1214/crd1214.pdf
  10. O’Boyle R & Overholtz W, 2006. Benchmark Review of Stock Assessment Models for Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank Herring, 2-5 May 2006, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Proceedings of the Transboundary Resources assessment Committee (TRAC) 2006/01.http://www.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/trac/proceedings/TRAC_pro_2006_01.pdf
  11. Overholtz W, 2006. Atlantic herring.http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/sos/spsyn/pp/herring/archives/22_AtlanticHerring_2006.pdf
  12. Read A J & Brownstein CR, 2003. Considering other consumers: fisheries, predators, and Atlantic herring in the Gulf of Maine. Conservation Ecology 7(1): 2. http://www.consecol.org/vol7/iss1/art2/
  13. Shepherd G, Cieri M, Power M, Overholtz W, 2009. Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Atlantic Herring Stock Assessment Update. Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee.http://www.asmfc.org/
  14. Stevenson DK & Scully B, 1999. Using observers to monitor status of Atlantic herring spawning stocks and groundfish bycatch in the gulf of Maine. Maine Department of Marine Resources.http://www.nefmc.org/herring/
  15. TRAC, 2006. Gulf of Maine – Georges Bank Herring Stock Complex. Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee (TRAC) Status Report 2006/01.http://www.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/TRAC/TSRs/TSR_2006_01_E.pdf
  16. TRAC, 2009a. Proceedings of the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) (Herring, Eastern Georges Bank cod and haddock, Georges Bank yellowtail flounder), Report of Meeting held 8 - 11 June 2009, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. [Draft – July 2009 – Herring only] Proceedings 2009/xx.http://www.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/trac/proceedings/Trac_pro_june_herring_draft22jun09.pdf
  17. TRAC, 2009b. Gulf of Maine – Georges Bank Herring Stock Complex. Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee (TRAC) Status Report 2009/04.http://www.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/trac/TSRs/TSR_2009_04_E.pdf
  18. Vonderweidt C, Libby D, Overholtz W, 2007. 2007 Review of the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Sea Herring. The Atlantic Sea Herring Plan Review Team.http://www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/herring/fmpreviews/atlherringfmpreview2007.pdf
  19. Wood LJ,2007. MPA Global: A database of the world's marine protected areas. Sea Around Us Project, UNEP-WCMC & WWF. http://www.mpaglobal.org/
References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    Atlantic herring - Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank

    comments powered by Disqus