Big herring boats in New England to carry monitors
BOSTON (AP) - The boats that catch the largest amounts of herring, sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds at once, will soon have independent observers monitoring their catch on every trip.
The New England Fishery Management Council approved the measure Wednesday at its meeting in Portland, Maine. The measure isn't expected to go into effect until at least spring 2013, as the industry and managers figure out how pay for it.
Herring are critical prey to a host of important species and caught mainly as bait for more valuable species, including lobster.
Environmentalists and some fishermen say large herring boats are devastating the population and inadvertently sweeping up valuable, struggling species, such as cod.
Herring fishermen say the stock is healthy, and supported increased monitoring to prove they don't do the damage others claim.