April 12, 2013

New England shrimp season ends with a whimper

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — The Gulf of Maine shrimp fishing season is coming to an end with a whimper.

The season officially ends at 11:59 p.m. Friday, although boats for the most part stopped fishing weeks ago because of a lack of shrimp in the Gulf of Maine.

This year's harvest will go down as the smallest since 1978, when the fishery was shut down altogether.

Through Wednesday, boats from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts had netted and trapped about 662,000 pounds, with Maine fishermen accounting for about 80 percent of the catch.

By comparison, last year's harvest came in at 5.3 million pounds. The 2011 catch topped 13 million pounds.

When regulators set the quota for this season, scientists warned that the shrimp population was in rough shape because of warm ocean temperatures.

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