Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Biology


Yong Chen

Second Committee Member

Linda Mercer

Third Committee Member

Graham Sherwood


The US Atlantic herring fishery is a sustainable large volume fishery located on the continental shelf waters of the northwestern Atlantic. This research used data from the Maine Department of Marine Resources fishery dependent sampling program to infer a potential downward trend and variation in life history traits of Atlantic herring in the Gulf of Maine and a relationship to biotic and abiotic environmental variables for the years 1978-2011. Five hypotheses were tested, four were tested to evaluate the changes in the size and the interrelationships between growth and maturation using a weight-length model, the Von Bertalanffy growth function, and Lysack’s maturation model, and one hypothesis was tested using linear regression and a generalized linear model to look for significant relationships to biotic and abiotic environmental variables. Results showed decreases in size and growth potential, changes in maturation, and suggest that density dependence was the main driver over temperature and salinity.