BOSTON (AP) — An environmental group says populations of river herring and shad are being decimated by commercial fishing along the Eastern seaboard.
Earthjustice demands in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington that the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission develop a plan to protect those species.
The plaintiffs include the Martha's Vineyard/Duke's County Commercial Fishermen's Association in Massachusetts.
Earthjustice says fishermen trawling for mackerel and sea herring also are scooping up millions of river herring and shad, resulting in as much as a 90 percent decline in the species since 1985.
A spokeswoman for the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says it has already asked regional fisheries councils to address the issue. The National Marine Fisheries Service says it doesn't comment on pending litigation.