NOAA may classify river herring as ‘threatened’

NOAA is slated to begin a series of hearings later this month to determine if river herring qualify as a threatened species, according to the Gloucester Times.
Posted 6/4/12

GLOUCESTER – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is slated to begin a series of hearings later this month to determine if river herring qualify as a threatened species, according to the Gloucester Times.

River herring – a species closely related to the commercially important Atlantic herring – mix into schools of ocean fish and labeling them threatened could have series implications for the commercial fishing industry. One possible result of the designation would be a curtailment of the fishing of Atlantic herring.

The protection was requested last August by the Natural Resources Defense Council and supported by Pew Environmental Group, according to the Times.

As part of the legal process to determine whether or not river herring qualify for protection as a threatened species, NOAA is launching a set of three workshops in Gloucester on June 22.

The June 22 workshop – at NOAA’s office in Gloucester - will focus on stock structure.

The second workshop – at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Boston office on July 10 – will deal with extinction risk analysis.

The final workshop – at NOAA’s Northeast headquarters in Gloucester – will be held on July 18 to 19 and focus on climate change implications for river herring.

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By failing to cite the actual causes of serious decline in river herring -- river dams and floodgates, river overdevelopment and pollution -- this article makes it sound as though NOAA is somehow to blame.

The article thus falsely portrays NOAA, not dams and pollution, as the enemy of the fishing industry.

A more professional form of journalism would offer the facts that industry and government officials need to take action against the actual threats to New England's fish (and fish-consumers).

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