Industry Hopes Emergency Plan Can Help Lobster Bait Crisis

summer_lobster_500PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Members of the commercial fishing business are wary but hopeful that an emergency rule will succeed in helping curb a crisis of bait availability that threatens to impact the New England lobster industry.

The lobster fishing industry is facing the bait shortage because of a lack of herring being caught far off of New England. Regulators in Maine say they have found a way to hopefully provide a steady stream of herring over the summer.

Fishermen are still catching herring in Maine’s inshore waters. Maine’s emergency rule limits herring fishermen’s weekly catch. The state says it wants to prevent fishermen from reaching their inshore quota too fast.

Fishing industry members say the bait shortage could impact lobstering in all of coastal New England. Maine is by far the biggest lobster producing state.

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