February 15, 2012

End of New England shrimp fishing season looming

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — The end of the New England shrimp fishing season is looming.

click image to enlarge

In this Jan. 6, 2012, photo, James Rich maneuvers a bulging net full of northern shrimp caught in the Gulf of Maine. The shrimping season began on Jan. 2.

AP/Robert F. Bukaty

Regulators are expected to set a closure date for the fishery during a conference call today to review how much shrimp has been caught since the season began Jan. 2.

Fishermen this season are allowed to catch 4.9 million pounds before the season is brought to an end. Regulators estimate the catch limit was probably reached two days ago, meaning the season will be shut down very soon.

Fishermen and shrimp processors have protested this year's limit, which is well under last year's catch of 13.3 million pounds.

Shrimp provide a small but valuable fishery for hundreds of New England fishermen. The fleet this year comprised 225 boats from Maine and 31 from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

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