ROCKPORT, Maine — Commercial shrimp fishermen who already have gone two years without a harvest shared sharply divided opinions about the future of their fishery Saturday at the 40th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum.
The Maine Department of Marine Fisheries held a public hearing at the Samoset Resort event to learn what the fishermen think about proposed amendments to the northern shrimp management plan, which could limit access to the fishery. As of now, if the shrimp population rebounds and the fishery is reopened, anyone who pays for a commercial fishing license can drag a net or drop traps to harvest the small, tasty crustacean.
Some fishermen in the room seemed in favor of any change to the fishery that might increase its chances of survival, but others were vehemently opposed to anything that would limit access.
“I think there’s too much regulation going on,” Jim Hanscom of Bar Harbor said. “Pitting fishermen against fishermen is just no good. Limited entry, it’s just cutting people out … I think it’s foolish. Maybe just leave it alone, and let it be.”
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