Shrimp season may be short

PORTLAND — The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section will meet Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Portland to consider approval of the Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp for public comment.

More important, at least in the short term, the section also will review the most recent reports on the status of northern shrimp stock and set specifications for the 2015 fishing season, if there is one.

Last year, the stock was in such poor shape that the section determined there should be no fishing.

In 2013, the last year in which there was a shrimp fishery, Maine boats landed just over 563,000 pounds of shrimp worth some $1 million, about $1.79 per pound. In 1996, Maine fishermen landed almost 18 million pounds of shrimp worth just under $13 million, about 72 cents per pound.

Whatever regulators decide about this winter’s fishing, the proposals contained in Amendment 3 will have a much greater long-term impact on the shrimp fishery.

Over the past 30 years, the fishery has experienced fluctuations in participation.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Panel will meet to formulate its recommendations for the 2015 season. The section will then meet the following day. Both meetings will take place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. Contact Marin Hawk, at [email protected] or (703) 842-0740.

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