Herring fishing restricted south of Cape Cod for rest of ’19

(Photo: MGN Online)

NEW BEDFORD, MA (AP) — The federal government is limiting the harvest of an important bait fish for the rest of the year from Massachusetts to North Carolina.

Atlantic herring are harvested on the East Coast for use as bait and human food. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there will be a 2,000-pound herring possession limit for fishing trips from south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to the southern North Carolina coast until Jan. 1, 2020.

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NOAA says the new limit is being enforced because 92 percent of the herring catch limit for the area has been harvested. The rule goes into effect on Saturday at 12:01 a.m.

Herring are critical as bait for the lobster fishery, but federal regulators have slashed quotas because of concerns about the health of the herring population.

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