This is the time of year that northern shrimp begin showing up at the markets. Unfortunately, this year’s allowable catch has been reduced by half, resulting in a shortened shrimping season not expected to commence until January 2nd. From Seacoastonline.com:
Seacoast fishermen brace for impact of shortened shrimp season
RYE — Padi Anderson calls shrimp the “best kept New England seafood secret.” But this year, fishermen like her husband, Mike Anderson, will have less opportunity to haul in the Gulf of Maine crustaceans.
That’s due to a shortened season set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section for the 2012 northern shrimp fishery. A season that normally begins in December will instead commence Jan. 2 for the trawl season and Feb. 1 for the trap season. The change, necessitated by a smaller population of northern shrimp, will reduce the total allowable catch of shrimp from 4,000 metric tons last year to 2,000 metric tons this year. Additionally, the season will close when landings are projected to reach 95 percent of the total allowable catch.
“Given the favorable stock conditions of the last two years, the Section set relatively long fishing seasons in an effort to accommodate the industry’s desire for expanded fishing opportunities,” said Section Chairman Doug Grout, chief of marine fisheries for N.H. Fish and Game. “Unfortunately, substantial increases in both effort and participation resulted in early season closures and significant overages in both seasons.
The resulting impact on the shrimp stock now means we must call for a shortened season and limited fishing opportunities in 2012 to protect the resource.” Read more…