Massachusetts Fishing Restricted Amid Lobster Bait Crunch

summer_lobster_500GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts herring fishery will be restricted in an attempt to mitigate a shortage of bait fish that threatens the lobster fishery.

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has voted to cut the number of days that herring boats can bring the fish ashore from five to two. The changes are in effect from Sunday to Sept. 30.

Maine cut its herring days down to two earlier in the season. Regulators say that reducing the number of days will prevent the fishery from catching its entire quota too quickly.

The problem is that fishermen aren’t catching herring far out at sea, which has increased pressure in inshore waters.

The Portland Press Herald reports a Massachusetts-based commissioner voted against the new restriction.

Herring are a key lobster bait fish.

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