PORTLAND, Maine, The Northeast herring fishing industry is eligible for federal assistance after its 2019 season was declared a disaster.
If adverse conditions in a fishery create economic hardship, the federal government can declare a "fishery catastrophe". An recent scientific analysis of the herring population revealed that herring fishing has become more difficult due to tighter fishing quotas.
The disaster declaration was announced by Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary for Commerce. The commerce department announced that members of the herring fishing sector will be eligible to receive disaster assistance. Some fishery-related businesses may also be eligible for federal loans.
Because they are used for lobster bait and as food, heiresses are important economically. Because of their role in the food chain, the species is crucial to the health and well-being of the ocean.
In 2014, Herring fishermen caught more herring than 200 million pounds. However, the 2019 catch was only 25 million. The majority of the fishery's operations are located in Maine and Massachusetts.
Because of the extensive process of reviewing data on the fishing industry to determine if it is a disaster, the federal government has declared the 2019 season a catastrophe. The catch was also lower than 21 million pounds in 2020.