The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is closer to embarking on its planned sampling program for the endangered Gulf of Maine northern shrimp stock and is looking for trawl and trap vessels to help collect shrimp and data.

The commission, which hopes to begin the test-tow portion of the the program in mid-January and the trap portion about a month after that, is looking for a total of four trawl vessels and two trap vessels from New Hampshire, Maine or Massachusetts, according to Tina Berger, spokeswoman for the ASMFC.

Anyone interested in participating in the project should contact Maggie Hunter at the Maine Department of Marine Resources by Jan. 4.

The $10,000 program is designed to catch the northern shrimp, Pandalus borealis, while they are in inshore waters to collect data on the timing of the egg hatch, as well as the size, gender and development stages of the shrimp.

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