Atlantic Herring: History of a Fishery

Sep 23, 2010
  • Description

In the first half of the 20th century, herring were fished primarily with small-scale, low-impact gear such as weirs and purse seines. But in the 1960s, large foreign fleets equipped with massive trawl nets began catching amounts of herring previously unimaginable. By the late 1970s, the offshore population of Atlantic herring had collapsed. This prompted Congress in 1976 to expel foreign vessels from within 200 miles of U.S. coastal waters under the original Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act.