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Measuring around 18 miles long, New Hampshire has the smallest shoreline of all coastal states. But for about 400 years, it’s been enough to support small boat fishermen in the Seacoast region. They make their livings cruising New England’s waters for cod, lobster, shrimp and other stocks.For decades, the industry’s been challenged by declining populations of fish and shellfish, as well as changing federal regulations. As of 2010, New England fishermen are allowed to catch a set poundage of fish based on their take over a 10-year span. New Hampshire fishermen argue this change has made the cost of working outpace profits, forced many small boats out of business, and discouraged new people from entering the industry. No matter the cause, figures from the US Census Bureau clearly show an industry in decline. In Portsmouth, the Seacoast’s main city, the Census Bureau reports only 0.2 percent of residents work in the “Farming, fishing and forestry occupations” category. That’s compared to 0.6 percent in 2000. A number of New Hampshire fishermen, politicians, and historians believe that without change, the state’s small boat fishing industry is heading toward extinction.Summary provided by StateImpact NH

Deep Cut for Fishermen of Herring Amid Population Loss

NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

 

Fishermen of an important species of lobster bait will have to contend with a deep cut in quota this year due to concerns about the fish's population.

Atlantic herring are the source of a major fishery on the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Thursday that it's cutting this year's herring quota from nearly 110 million pounds to about 33 million pounds.

A June 2018 assessment of the herring stock found that the fish's population is declining. The report sounded alarms among scientists, fishermen and conservationists because of herring's economic importance and because of its critical role in the ocean food chain.

NOAA says herring aren't overfished, but the catch of the species needs to be reduced to prevent overfishing. The fishery's based in New England.

 

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