December 2, 2012

Moratorium possible for New England shrimp season

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Regulators said the Gulf of Maine shrimp population is in such poor shape that the upcoming shrimp-fishing season should be called off.

In its 2012 assessment report, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's shrimp technical committee is recommending that a fishing moratorium be enacted for the upcoming season. If a season is allowed to go forward, the committee says it shouldn't start until at least half of the shrimp have hatched their brood, which typically happens around mid-February.

The commission's shrimp-regulating panel, which includes representatives from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, is scheduled to meet Monday in Portland and decide what the season should look like or whether to have one.

Shrimp provide a small but valuable fishery for hundreds of New England fishermen, mostly from Maine.

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