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ASMFC Begins Preparations for River Herring Benchmark Stock Assessment

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has initiated a benchmark stock assessment for river herring to be completed in the summer of 2023. River herring is the collective name for two closely related species, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), that return to rivers from Maine through Florida to spawn every year. The goals of the assessment are to evaluate the health of stocks along the Atlantic coast and inform management of these species. The Commission’s stock assessment process and meetings are open to the public, with the exception of discussions of confidential data.

The Commission welcomes the submission of data sources that will contribute to the goals of the assessment. This includes, but is not limited to, data on abundance including run counts and surveys, stocking, biological samples (sex, maturity, age, weight, length), life history information (growth, fecundity, natural mortality, sex ratio, spawning history), stock structure (tagging data, genetics), mortality (predator diet, anthropogenic sources such as hydropower dams), and catch (harvest, discard, fishing effort). An essential need is data to inform the stock assessment of discards and bycatch in other directed fisheries (e.g. the Atlantic herring fishery). For data sets to be considered, the data must be sent in the required format, with accompanying description of methods, to the Commission by July 1, 2022.

The Commission will hold a Data Workshop July 12-14, 2022 via webinar to review all available data sources for river herring and identify datasets to be incorporated in the stock assessment. The Data Workshop is open to the public. To register for the webinar, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5539956829101821456. (Webinar ID 375-897-411).

For more information on submitting data, including the appropriate format, and/or attending the River Herring Data Workshop, please contact Katie Drew, Stock Assessment Team Lead, at kdrew@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

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