Alewife and Blueback Herring Not Endangered

As part of its joint responsibility with U.S Fish and Wildlife Service for implementing the Endangered Species Act, NOAA reviewed whether alewife and blueback herring require protections under the Act. A comprehensive status review determined a low risk of extinction for alewife and blueback herring throughout their range as well as for four alewife distinct population segments (DPS) and three blueback DPSs along the east coast of the U.S.

While river herring have declined from historical numbers, recent fisheries management efforts in place at the federal and state levels help to reduce the risks from fishing mortality for these species. Although some areas within the range continue to struggle, robust populations of these broadly distributed species are found in other portions of their ranges, with some areas supporting populations in the millions or hundreds of thousands. With continued management and additional efforts to improve habitat connectivity, populations in areas of the range that are at low levels may also see improvements in the future.