An Evaluation of the Impacts of the Maine Shrimp Fishery Moratorium

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Abstract Summary

In 2011, the Gulf of Maine’s northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) population reached an unprecedented low due to harvesting and climate change. For decades Maine shrimp were a complement to the iconic Maine lobster. In response to the decimated population, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Northern Shrimp Section (including Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) implemented a moratorium on shrimp harvesting in 2013. While studies have been conducted to assess the failure of the shrimp population to rebound following the moratorium, little attention has been given to the ecological effects outside of this species. Beyond the ecological implications of this decision, there have been limited investigations on the economic and societal impacts in Maine. Commercial fishing industry revenue in Maine declined by $50 million following the moratorium (Maine Department of Marine Resources, 2019), but local fishing communities experienced the most significant impact with the loss of a vital source of income during the shrimp harvesting months. In order to fully evaluate the decision to ban shrimp harvesting in Maine, it is necessary to investigate all resulting consequences. Here we present a preliminary assessment of the implications of the 2013 shrimp harvesting moratorium to date. It is our hope that this report will help advise future management decisions for the shrimp fishery and other fisheries.

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Natural Sciences
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PM2 (2:30 - 3:30)