PORTLAND, ME – Faced with a stock that scientists said had technically “collapsed,” the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Northern Shrimp Section met here Dec. 3 and agreed by consensus to impose a moratorium on shrimp fishing for the 2014 season.
The section took this extreme action after receiving a grim stock assessment update from its Northern Shrimp Technical Committee (TC).
According to the TC, indices of harvestable biomass from this summer’s Gloria Michelle survey were the “lowest on record.” Furthermore, results indicated that “an unprecedented” three consecutive years of “recruitment failure” had occurred.
“There basically are three missing year classes – 2010, 2011, and 2012,” said TC Chairman Kelly Whitmore of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “This does not bode well for the ability of the stock to bounce back in the next few years.”
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