BAR HARBOR — For the eighth straight year, Maine’s commercial shrimp fishery will remain closed to harvesters.
The Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section voted last week to keep the fishery shut down for at least three more years citing an assessment update that indicated the stock in the Gulf of Maine remains depleted.
According to the commission’s report, “Given the continued poor condition of the resource, the extremely low likelihood of being able to fish sustainably, and the value of maximizing spawning potential to rebuild the stock if environmental conditions improve, the Section determined that a continuation of the moratorium was the best course of action.”
A commercial fishing moratorium has been in place since the 2014 season, and while stock in 2021 was estimated to be higher than 2013 – the year the fishery was considered to have collapsed – it was still not high enough for the moratorium to be lifted.
Other factors, including the warming of the waters off the coast and increased predation from squid, have also likely played a part in the decline, according to scientists.