The Maine shrimp fishery will remain closed in 2017, but the amount that shrimpers can take during scientific surveys and then sell has more than doubled.
Interstate fishery managers at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to keep the shrimping moratorium in effect for the 2017 season on the advice of its science advisers. The popular winter seafood had been a favorite throughout New England before the population collapsed in 2013 despite several years of increasingly stringent fishing restrictions, such as trip and trap limits, and smaller landings.
The increase in the amount of shrimp that can be hauled for research work will mean this hard-to-get regional delicacy will once again be available over the winter, albeit in very limited batches, which will probably delight restaurateurs who like to serve up this sweet, pink protein in a saute, a skillet or a salad. Buyers paid a record $4 a pound for Maine shrimp at a research set-aside auction at the Portland Fish Exchange in 2015.