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CONTACT:
Doug Grout, NHFG: 603-868-1095
Tina Berger, ASMFC: 703-842-0740   
January 3, 2012

January 19, 2012, Meeting to Assess Northern Shrimp Fishery

DURHAM, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing and meeting to review shrimp landings and consider the use of in-season management options in conjunction with a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Northern Shrimp Section and Advisory Panel on January 19, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oak, 200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland, Maine.

The northern shrimp fishery has a shortened season this year. The trawl season started January 2, 2012, with three landing days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; vessels may only land once a day. The trap season will start February 1, with a 1,000-pound landing limit per vessel per day. These measures are consistent with the recently approved Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp. A total allowable catch (TAC) of 2,000 metric tons was approved, with the season closing when landings are projected to reach 95 percent of the TAC (1,900 metric tons).  

The 2011 stock assessment update indicated that the northern shrimp stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring.  Additionally, shrimp abundance in the western Gulf of Maine has declined steadily since 2006.  The Fishery Management Plan specifies that if fishing mortality exceeds the limit level and shrimp population is less than the threshold level, the Section must act immediately to reduce fishing mortality.

The Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section recently approved Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp, which includes new management tools including trip limits, trap limits, and days out of the fishery that will provide the Section the ability to slow catch rates throughout the season. The Amendment also includes provisions for a more timely and comprehensive harvest reporting system, and allows for the initiation of a limited entry program to be pursued through the adaptive management addendum process.

The northern shrimp fishery is jointly regulated by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 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 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Northern Shrimp. For more information, contact Mike Waine at ASMFC (703-842-0740; mwaine@asmfc.org) or Doug Grout at the N.H. Fish and Game Department’s Marine Fisheries Division (603-868-1095).

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Marine Fisheries Division works closely with other states and federal agencies to protect and maintain marine resources for both commercial and recreational fisheries. Learn more at www.fishnh.com/marine.

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