Maine shrimping shutdown on horizon this winter

PORTLAND — An indicator of the Gulf of Maine shrimp population has fallen to its lowest level on record, raising questions about whether the fishery should be shut down this coming winter.

This summer’s shrimp index was at its lowest point since the annual trawl survey began in 1984, said Maggie Hunter, a scientist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources who sits on a three-state technical committee that analyzes the data and recommends what the rules should be for the upcoming season.

Regulators will use the survey when they meet in November to decide the dates of this winter’s shrimp-fishing season — or if there will be one at all.

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