AUGUSTA — Federal fishery regulators are about to close the comment-taking window on planned changes to the rules they use to set catch limits for Atlantic herring.

Officials plan to change the rules to make sure herring aren’t overfished. The New England Fishery Management Council is working on an amendment designed to make sure future catch limits are based on “scientific uncertainty” and the status of the herring stock.

The council will stop taking public comment on the proposal on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Regulators say changes could be approved next year. Herring are an important fish because they are a key piece of the food web and are used as both bait and food. Maine and Massachusetts had by far the largest commercial Atlantic herring fisheries in the country in 2013.

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