In this July 8, 2015, file photo, herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

A major fishery off New England will be slowed down considerably in September in an attempt to protect the fish’s population.

Atlantic herring are the target of a large fishing industry. They’re used for food as well as bait. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the inshore Gulf of Maine’s fishery for herring will be effectively shut down until Sept. 30.

The fishery is being shuttered for the month because fishermen are approaching a quota limit, the agency said. The shutdown began Aug. 23.

The herring fishery has been subject to tighter quotas in recent years because of concerns about the health of the fish’s population. Fishermen typically caught more than 100 million pounds of the fish per year earlier this decade, but caught only 24.7 million pounds last year.