The licenses set out conditions for fishing, which may include the species that may be caught, the type and quantity of gear to be used, the waters in which fishing is permitted, the period during which fishing is permitted, the vessel which may be used, and the persons permitted to operate the vessel. The DFO also licenses weirs and regulates their location and operation.
In the United States, management of the fishery within the U.S. exclusive economic zone (from 3 to 200 miles offshore) is the responsibility of regional fishery councils (including the NEFMC) under the U.S. Federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. State legislation governs the fishery in inshore waters and is coordinated by the ASMFC under the U.S. Federal Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. Fisheries management plans and associated rules & regulations developed by the NMFS and corresponding state agencies set out the terms on which fishermen may participate in a fishery. The TAC established by the NMFS for a designated area is not allocated among individual participants – instead, it is issued on a total fleet basis. Once the TAC for an area is reached, the herring fishery for that area is suspended.