Aquaculture for all

Cautious Optimism for Maine Shrimp Fishery

Crustaceans Economics +2 more

MAINE - In a year and an industry filled with seemingly unremittingly bad news, the December shrimp fishery has a faint bright spot.

Although most processors were waiting until after the first of the year to start buying, and bad weather kept most boats off the water for all but a few days, the few boats that did go out reported some encouraging results, according to Mount Desert Islander. There seemed to be plenty of shrimp in the water, and the shrimp were larger than usual for December.

The 2009 shrimp fishing season opened on 1 December. Les White, of the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) said that the handful of Maine fishermen working in the Gulf of Maine last month reported catching an average of 320 pounds of shrimp per hour of towing. That was down from the 332-pound average during the 2007 season, but still good news.

“That’s really good for December,” Mr White said of the catch during the first three weeks of the month. “They normally average 200 to 250 pounds per hour during December.