PORTLAND, Maine — Members of the fishing industry are cautiously optimistic about a plan to help fix a growing bait crisis that could threaten the New England lobster business.

The lobster fishing industry is short of bait because of a shortage of herring being caught far off of New England. But officials with Maine's Department of Marine Resources believe they have brokered a solution to provide a steady stream of herring over the summer.

Fishermen are still catching herring, which is the most popular lobster bait, in Maine's inshore waters. The state has announced an emergency rule, set to go into place Saturday, that limits herring fishermen's weekly catch to 600,000 pounds in the hopes of preventing fishermen from reaching their quotas too fast.

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