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A big win for the fish

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Herring returning to Wynants Kill after 85 years. (Erica Capuana / NYSDEC Division of Fish & Wildlife)
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Herring returning to Wynants Kill after 85 years. (Erica Capuana / NYSDEC Division of Fish & Wildlife)

Earlier this week, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to create a buffer zone restricting industrial midwater trawling for herring within 12-miles along the coast of New England, with an additional 20-mile buffer around Cape Cod. Additionally, a control rule was established to allow future catch limits to be adjusted to protect the role of herring in the Atlantic ecosystem, which will also help protect the ecosystem within the Hudson River Estuary.

“As highly migratory fish, River herring aggregate with Atlantic herring and do not recognize state or federal boundaries. They stage together in large schools in late winter of the coast of Connecticut and eastern Long Island ahead of their spawning migrations.” -George Jackman, Habitat Restoration Manager, Riverkeeper

coastal buffer

These changes from the New England Fishery Management Council will provide valuable protections to herring and other fish species. Forage fish like herring play a profoundly important role in the ecosystems and food-webs throughout the region, and these changes will complement the Hudson River’s signature species to sustainable levels.

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