Contributed by Dan Stich, posted 11-16-20: NOAA Fisheries, in collaboration with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), convened a working group in the spring of 2014 to inform the development of a river herring conservation plan. Formally known as River Herring Technical Expert Working Group (TEWG), the TEWG established topic based subcommittees to compile information for the conservation plan. The conservation plan and the format of the TEWG was intended to increase public awareness about river herring, stimulate cooperative research, and foster efforts to conserve the species. Since completion of the conservation plan in 2015, river herring practitioners have continued to meet biannually to promote collaboration, information exchange, and outreach about these species.
Recently, NOAA Fisheries and ASMFC began evaluating the name of this working group going forward. We wanted a name that reflects the voluntary meeting of river herring experts and practitioners for the purpose of sharing information and collaborating on efforts to study and conserve these species. After consideration by NOAA Fisheries, ASMFC and meeting participants, a new name was announced during the November 5, 2020 TEWG meeting. Going forward, the Atlantic Coast River Herring Collaborative Forum (River Herring Forum) will continue to provide a venue for information exchange, sharing research and restoration projects, and promoting collaboration and outreach about river herring conservation. In addition to a new name, the 2015 river herring conservation plan will be updated starting in early 2021. We look forward to continuing this collaborative effort. If you are interested in participating in the biannual meetings, please contact Sean McDermott ([email protected]) or Caitlin Starks ([email protected]).