Take action! Urge mid-Atlantic fishery managers to protect
threatened river herring and shad from Ocean bycatch
Although river herring and shad are small fish, they play an immensely important role in the health of our coastal ecosystems. As food for larger fish, they help sustain commercial and recreational fisheries on the East Coast while contributing to the economies of many coastal river towns. They are in critical condition, however, because their populations have declined by more than 97 percent. In New York the Hudson River’s historic shad fishery was closed as populations reached critical levels. River herring populations in New York have also reached unsustainable levels and fisheries closures and restrictions will be implemented soon to protect dwindling populations.
The populations of shad and river herring that spawn in New York’s rivers spend much of their lives in the ocean. This spring, you can help secure the first meaningful protections for these fish in the ocean. Millions are caught each year, mostly by industrial trawlers targeting Atlantic mackerel. These massive boats tow football-field-size nets and indiscriminately kill millions of pounds of unintended catch annually, including river herring, shad, bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, and striped bass, as well as whales, dolphins, and seabirds.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet in June to decide how to protect river herring and American shad at sea. This is your opportunity to help save these treasured species. Send a letter to the council today.