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CONTACT:
Tina Berger, ASMFC: (202) 289-6400 
Doug Grout or Jessica Fischer, NHFG: 603-868-1095
November 17, 2010

2010/2011 Northern Shrimp Fishing Season Set at 136 Days

DURHAM, N.H. -- The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Section approved a 136-day fishing season for the 2010-2011 northern shrimp fishery.  The season was reduced from last year’s season of 180 days to account for a smaller population of northern shrimp.  

The 2010 fishing season, which is the same for mobile and trap gear, will be open seven days a week from December 1, 2010, through April 15, 2011.

"The Section's decision to decrease the length of the season was consistent with the advice of the Technical Committee and was necessary to ensure the long-term health of the northern shrimp stock,” said Northern Shrimp Section Chair Doug Grout, who is Chief of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Marine Fisheries Division.

The Section also agreed to reassess the pace of the fishery in late February to evaluate where the landing totals are relative to the target harvest level of 4,000 metric tons.  If necessary, the closing date may be adjusted to prevent going over the target, or the season may be extended to ensure sufficient opportunity to harvest the target amounts of shrimp.

The 2006 year-class of northern shrimp continues to be very weak and will likely be unavailable in significant numbers as five-year olds for the 2011 season. Therefore, the Technical Committee expects that catches in 2011 will be comprised mostly of four-year old female shrimp, which will be smaller than the five-year olds that have been harvested for the past few seasons.  Fortunately, the 2007 to 2009 year-classes exhibited above-average strength when compared to past years of the survey.

The Section also agreed to initiate an amendment to the Northern Shrimp Fishery Management Plan to clarify the fishing mortality reference points, consider the use of trip limits, and address other issues.

The northern shrimp fishery is jointly regulated by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Section. The cooperative management program has been in place since 1972 and is currently managed under Amendment 1 to the Northern Shrimp Fishery Management Plan. For more information, contact Robert Beal at (703) 842-0740 or rbeal@asmfc.org.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.  For more information about N.H. Fish and Game’s Marine Division, visit www.fishnh.com/marine.

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