Herring Buffer Zone
Herring and other small schooling fish are crucial to the ocean ecosystem because they provide food for larger fish and marine mammals. Yet vast quantities of these forage fish are removed by large-scale midwater trawlers with detrimental ripple effects.
Cape Cod fishermen engaged in a 15 year campaign to fight the harmful effects that mid-water trawlers have by removing the forage base from the inshore ecosystem. In September 2015, their hard work and dedication resulted in the councils approval of a year-round, 12 mile coast-wide buffer and additional blocks of protection off the backside of the Cape and Islands. By creating a year round buffer zone that moves these vessels further off shore, we can protect resources our fishermen bring back to the cape. The final step of this process is for the federal government to publish a proposed rule for enactment that would codify this regulation. We are committed to seeing through that final step towards healthier ecosystems in our waters.