Published Saturday, January 28th, 2012 –

New Jersey has banned the catch and sale of river herring, due in part to lack of personnel and funding to collect appropriate data, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

The State Department of Environmental Protection shut down the fishery, which is often used by fisherman in the bait business, Thursday, according to the report. The state failed to meet a deadline from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to prove the fishery was sustainable. According to the article, the fishery may be sustainable, but there is not enough staff or funding to prove it.

The herring can no longer be caught with a net for bait, and recreational fishermen cannot target them, the article says. If a herring is caught, it must be thrown back.

According to the report, offshore commercial fishermen who accidentally catch herring cannot sell them in New Jersey.