PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An indicator of the Gulf of Maine shrimp population has fallen to its lowest level on record, raising questions about whether the fishery should be shut down this coming winter.
Scientists say the shrimp index was the lowest it’s been since the annual survey began in 1984.
Regulators will use the survey data when they meet in November to decide the dates of the next shrimp-fishing season — or if there will be one at all.
Scientists last year recommended shutting down the fishery, but regulators ended up setting a short season with a 74 percent cut in quota. In the end, the season was a bust because there were so few shrimp to catch.
Shrimp provide a small but important fishery for Maine fishermen each winter.