Interstate fishing regulators say they will meet next month to decide if there will be a fishing season for Gulf of Maine shrimp next year, though they say prospects are bleak.

The fishery is currently shut down over concerns about its low population. Fishermen haven’t been able to catch the popular food species since 2013. A panel of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will make a decision about the coming season on Dec. 7 in Portsmouth, N.H.
The fishery was formerly a popular winter fishery for fishermen who spent the warmer months trapping lobsters.

The AFMSC closed the Gulf of Maine to shrimp fishing in 2014 and 2015 to protect the dwindling number of spawning females, affecting fishermen from Maine (who accounted for 83 percent of the landings in 2013), New Hampshire (11 percent) and Massachusetts (6 percent), including Gloucester.

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