The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Herring, Atlantic – U.S., Mid-water Trawl

Atlantic Herring are found along the Atlantic coast of North America from Labrador to Cape Hatteras. They mature at 2–4 years and can live 15–18 years.

Herring support a substantial bait industry for lobster, blue crab and tuna fisheries. They are also sold as steaks, kippers and are one of many species sold in the U.S. as canned sardines, although technically they are not considered to be sardines. The U.S. Atlantic Herring population is considered healthy.

Atlantic Herring are caught with purse seines and mid-water trawls. The mid-water trawl fishery catches depleted river herring. While mid-water trawls are designed to fish off the ocean bottom, because Atlantic Herring sometimes school near the bottom, in this fishery the gear will occasionally drag along the bottom.

Atlantic Herring are an important food source for many fish, marine mammals, and seabirds, so the fisheries could affect ocean food webs and ecosystems. Managers are working to incorporate the ecological role of this species into management policies.

Full species report here.