The Maine Shrimp Fishery: A 2022 Update on Maine Shrimp Fishing
You might’ve header about the Maine shrimp fishery in the news in recent months. The shrimp industry has been in a state of flux since 2013 and, in late 2021, the possibility of opening shrimp fishing was back on the table.
What’s happening in the Maine shrimp fishery and what does it mean for consumers? This post will explore the current state of the Maine shrimp fishery and discuss what it means for those who love this succulent seafood.
All Eyes on the Maine Shrimp Industry
The Maine shrimp industry has historically been in bad shape and, unfortunately, shrimp caught in our own state won’t make a grand appearance this year. This is because the shrimp population in the Gulf of Maine declined sharply and remains critically low.
The Canada-Maine border has been closed to shrimp fishing since 2013 due to the low shrimp numbers. While the Maine shrimp population has rebounded in recent years, it’s still not enough to sustain a commercial fishery.
In addition, water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine have been rising, which could be further stressing the Maine shrimp population and making it more difficult for them to rebound. As a result, Maine shrimp will remain off the menu for the foreseeable future.
What Caused the Decline In The Maine Shrimp Population?
The Maine shrimp industry has been in decline for several years. The specific causes of the decline are not well understood, but it’s clear that Maine shrimp are under threat.
To protect this vital resource, it’s essential to identify the leading causes of the decline and develop management strategies to mitigate the threats. Only by working together can we hope to ensure the future of the Maine shrimp industry.
The potential causes of the decline that are being closely monitored and researched heavily are predation (namely longfin squid, according to some scientists) and warming water temperatures.
What’s next for the Maine Shrimp Fishery?
In 2013, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section implemented a moratorium on commercial and recreational fishing for northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine.
This action was taken in response to concerns about the declining abundance of shrimp, which was obviously an integral part of the Maine shrimp industry. The moratorium has been extended several times and, as of December 2021, is currently set to expire in 2024.
This extension will give scientists time to continue their research into the causes of the decline in northern shrimp and develop plans to rebuild the population. While this may be difficult for those who have come to rely on the Maine shrimp industry for their livelihoods, it’s clear that it is the best course of action for the resource’s long-term sustainability.
The Effect on Shrimp Fishermen & Women
The decline of the Maine shrimp industry has had a significant effect on fishermen and women.
The Maine shrimp industry used to be one of the primary sources of income for many fishermen during the off-season. However, since the fishery has been closed, aside from a few years of little catch for research purposes, very few shrimp have made it to markets. This has resulted in a decline in income for many fishermen.
The Maine shrimp industry was an important part of the state’s economy and the end of shrimping had a ripple effect on the state’s economy. Many Maine businesses have felt the impact of the decline, and the state has lost revenue generated by the industry.
The fall of the Maine shrimp industry is a complex issue with no easy solutions. Fishermen, businesses, and state officials are all working to find a way to revive the industry and bring back jobs and revenue to the state.
Of course, you can still enjoy fresh shrimp! Order today or come into our Scarborough, Maine location to purchase fresh-caught shrimp.