Herring Buffer Zone
Atlantic herring and other small schooling fish are crucial to the ocean ecosystem because they provide food for larger fish and marine mammals.
Cape Cod fishermen engaged in a 15-year campaign to fight the harmful effects of mid-water trawlers that remove the forage base from the inshore ecosystem and hurt local herring runs. In November 2019, their hard work and dedication paid off: the fisheries service approved regulations for a year-round, 12-mile buffer zone from Maine to Connecticut with additional 20-mile blocks of protection off the backshore of the Cape and Islands. The buffer zone, coupled with more protective catch limits linked to the big role the small fish has in our ecosystem, will help strengthen the commercial fisheries that are an intrinsic part of the Cape’s blue economy.
We offer our sincerest thanks to our many partners who supported this campaign for so many years, and look forward to seeing the ecological benefits of this change.