- Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018

ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) - Changes could be coming to the harvest of a small fish that supports one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast.

Federal fishing managers have debated changes to the harvest of Atlantic herring in recent years, and the potential new rules are headed for public comment this month and next. Herring are small schooling fish that are harvested in the hundreds of millions of pounds annually to supply food, bait and fish oil.

The New England Fishery Management Council is considering changing the rules to “explicitly account for herring’s role in the ecosystem.” Herring are also a key piece of the ocean food web.

The hearings begin May 22 in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and will also take place in Rockport, Maine; Portland, Maine; Gloucester, Massachusetts; Chatham, Massachusetts; and Philadelphia.

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