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New England shrimp industry could reopen for recreation only

December 20, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The New England shrimp fishing industry could eventually reopen for recreational fishing.

Commercial shrimping has been shut down in New England since 2013 because of concerns about the health of the shrimp population and warming ocean temperatures. A board of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission decided last week to keep the business shuttered for at least three more years.

The commission said Friday that work is ongoing about how best to manage the species in the future. It said that work will continue with a focus on developing a recreational fishing industry that allows for personal consumption of the shrimp.

The commercial shrimping industry in New England was based mostly in Maine. The shrimp are a cold-water species sometimes called “Northern shrimp” or “pink shrimp.”

Maine fishermen harvested more than 10 million pounds of the shrimp per year as recently as 2011. The catch fell to less than 5 million pounds in 2012 and less than 600,000 pounds in 2013.