National Fisherman

ELLSWORTH — Anyone who wants to enjoy fresh Maine shrimp for dinner had better not dither around waiting for culinary inspiration to strike.

Maine's shrimp trawling season opened last Wednesday, Jan. 23, and within days there were hints from the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) that it wouldn't last long.

Last Friday, after just a single day of fishing, DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced that this week trawling would be allowed between sunrise and 3 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday — the only two days of the week when boats are allowed to fish. He warned, though, that a review of landings on Monday and Wednesday of this week could result in a further reduction in fishing time.

Maine shrimp fishermen are already dealing with severe restrictions.

In addition to the two-day fishing week, the trawling fleet is limited to landing no more than some 539 metric tons (about 1.19 million pounds) of Northern shrimp. The fishery will close when landing data indicates that 85 percent of that quota has been caught.

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