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

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Marine Patrol says it has cited three men for violating laws designed to protect an economically important species of fish.

The laws protect Atlantic herring, a bait fish that has been the subject of deep fishing quota cuts in recent years. The marine patrol says it has charged fishing boat captain Glenn Robbins of Eliot with exceeding the weekly limit of 160,000 pounds of herring and failing to file accurate reports.

The patrol also cited boat operator Ethan Chase of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and dealer Dustin Reed of New Moon Fisheries in Friendship, Maine.

Robbins says he doesn’t think the citation is fair and is working with the state to resolve it. Phone calls to numbers listed in the other two men’s names were not returned.