Don St. Pierre, herring warden in Chatham. (Christopher Seufert Photography)

Fishermen's Alliance: Long-Waged Battle for Herring Won

That was longtime Captain Charlie Dodge's first word when he heard that, after 20 years of effort, strong regional protections for herring had finally been enacted.

"It's justified and has been more than necessary for a long time," he said.

The formal announcement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reflected what much of the Cape wanted, a 12-nautical mile territorial sea boundary from the Canadian border to Connecticut and a 20-mile buffer off the peninsula's backshore as well as catch limits based on the needs of the ecosystem. Supporters believe the buffer that keeps industrial-sized midwater trawl vessels from taking enormous amounts of herring out of local waters will go a long way towards rebuilding the entire inshore ecosystem and therefore boost the maritime economy.

"This little fish means so much to our community," said John Pappalardo, CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance. "People trying to resurrect our herring runs, support historic fishing effort, rebuild the ecosystem, all rallied around this one key step. This is a great moment for us all, truly worth a thanksgiving at Thanksgiving."

Read the full story here.