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Atlantic Herring
 Herring Research: The Role of Fishermen
fishermen on a seiner at sunrise
 The seiner Miss Dee Jay, Grand Manan, New Brunswick.

The assistance and cooperation of fishermen has been essential to the success of herring research in the Gulf of Maine. Since much of this research has potential impacts on how the herring fishery is managed and catch limits are set, there is a lot of interest within the industry to be involved. This industry participation includes suggesting topics and methods for research, as well as using herring fishing vessels and fishermen to help collect data.

Transferring fish for tagging
Jaime Matthews transfers herring for tagging research.

In the 1980's weir fishermen provided herring for tagging events along the Maine coast. More recent tagging efforts have been conducted at sea, working off purse seine and midwater trawling vessels.

Ongoing acoustic survey projects conducted by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute work with commercial herring vessels to collect information on herring stocks in the Gulf of Maine. These projects provide fishermen a way to turn otherwise anecdotal information on how many herring they are seeing into data useful to the scientific and regulatory communities.

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