In an article by Kirk Moore of Asbury Park Press about the decline of river herring in New Jersey, I learned that river herring spend months feeding in the open ocean. While they're stuffing their faces, they sometimes get accidentally caught, killed and discarded as bycatch. Local authorities are considering restrictions to reduce this loss . . .
Those measures are aimed primarily at a fleet of bigger boats, called mid-water trawlers because they pull nets at middle depths to specifically target longfin squid and mackerel — high-volume, low-cost seafood that is processed and frozen. The fried calamari appetizer served in Italian restaurants and casual dining places is longfin squid, one product that still pays fishermen well in the depths of the recession.There you have it! Longfin squid are willing to make the sacrifice in these difficult days, giving themselves up for the greater good of the nation. Can river herring do any less? -) (see comments)
Seriously, it sounds like even if everyone wanted to restrict the squid-and-mackerel fishery to reduce river herring bycatch, no one is sure how to do it. Close certain fishing areas? What if the river herring decide to go somewhere else? Put more observers on board to monitor catches? Who's going to pay them? After all, writes Moore,
Part of New Jersey’s problem is it doesn’t have money or biologists in its budget crunch.
Fighting budget crunch with calamari crunch.