Interstate fishing regulators are considering new rules to help the herring fishery run more smoothly in the future.

The Atlantic herring is an important bait fish that’s caught off of several East Coast states, especially Massachusetts and Maine. The fishery suffered last summer from supply problems, which caused a bait shortage in the lobster fishery.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is looking at new ways to manage the fishery. Options include limiting the amount of herring a vessel can land per week.

Fishing managers say they want to stretch out the amount of herring that fishermen catch over the course of the year so there is less chance of a sudden shortage.

An arm of the commission voted this week to seek public comment on the proposal.

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