DURHAM, N.H. -- New Hampshire Fish and Game's Marine Fisheries Division today announced that commercial harvesters will be prohibited from landing Atlantic herring from Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Management Area 1A (located in the western half of the Gulf of Maine) from 12:01 a.m. on September 3 through midnight on September 14 and 12:01 a.m. on September 17 through midnight on September 28.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Herring Section members from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts will meet on September 24 to determine if additional days out of the fishery will be needed after September 28 in order to extend the available quota for Atlantic Herring into October and November.

The closure is in accordance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic Herring Management Plan. One of the provisions of the plan addresses the need to control "effort" (fishing days) in the fishery to prevent commercial fishermen from exceeding the total allowable catch for each management area and to prevent management areas from having to be closed early.

The closure is intended to protect the Atlantic herring resource and to ensure that the total allowable catch is not harvested before peak market demands abate before late autumn.

An exception to the rule is that any vessel may land herring taken as an incidental catch in ASMFC Management Area 1A, up to a maximum of 2,000 pounds.

For more information about the closure, call N.H. Fish and Game's Region 3 office in Durham at (603) 868-1095.