Winter lobsters could bolster fishery during shrimp shutdown

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fishermen and seafood dealers say a shutdown of the Maine shrimp season is keeping many lobstermen at sea deeper into the winter than typical - a trend some say could result in lower prices for consumers.

Many Maine lobstermen use the shrimp season as a source of winter income while lobsters are in lower demand and harder to catch. But regulators have shut down the shrimp season for two straight years because of a collapsed shrimp population.

Lobster fishermen, dealers and processors say it remains to be seen if the number of lobstermen remaining in the fishery in the winter will have a big impact on the winter lobster catch. Some say a heavy supply of winter lobsters could drive price down, while others are skeptical.