AUGUSTA — State and federal fisheries regulators have imposed a moratorium on shrimp fishing in the Gulf of Maine for the fourth consecutive season because of “the depleted condition of the resource.”
Meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., last Thursday, the Northern Shrimp Section of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission extended the current moratorium on commercial fishing for the 2017 fishing season, which would have begun Dec. 1 if fishing were allowed.
The section also approved a 116,845 pound (53 metric ton) “research set-aside” to scientists to continue to collect important biological data about the size of the shrimp population and where the shrimp are located.
According to the scientific evidence, the news for Northern shrimp, and the fishermen who made a living chasing them in winter, is grim.
The quota of shrimp set aside for research this year is more than twice the research set-aside allowed last year and about four times the amount recommended by the shrimp section’s scientific committee.