PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Federal fishing regulators are limiting the amount of herring that fishermen can catch off New England until the end of the year.

Atlantic herring are the subject of a large fishing industry in the Northeast. They’re used for bait and food.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it’s implementing a 2,000-pound herring possession limit per trip in the inshore Gulf of Maine until Dec. 31. The agency says it’s taking the step because 92% of the catch limit in the area has been harvested.

NOAA says no herring fishing is allowed in the area from Jan. 1 to May 31, so the fishery won’t be able to fully resume in the inshore gulf until June.

Herring are economically important in New England because they’re used as lobster bait.

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