PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – State regulators have voted to scrap the winter shrimp season in the Gulf of Maine.
The decision Tuesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission came after a harvest last winter that was the smallest since the last shrimp shutdown in 1978. And over the summer, a shrimp survey index indicated stocks were at their lowest since the survey began in 1984.
Spencer Fuller from Cozy Harbor Seafood in Portland said the damage is already done. He said the reduced catches have caused markets to dry up in parts of Europe.
About 85 to 90 percent of the annual Gulf of Maine harvest is typically caught by Maine boats, with New Hampshire and Massachusetts accounting for the rest.