Lobstermen Exceed Maine Quota for Bait Fish Amid Herring Shortage
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine fishermen have for the first time exceeded the state’s quota on capturing a second-favorite type of lobster bait amid a shortage of herring.
The Portland Press Herald reports that officials have closed the fishery for pogies, the local name for Atlantic menhaden, after fishermen exceeded the state’s quota, set at about 166,000 pounds annually, by July 31.
Fishermen have been using more pogies amid a short off-shore supply of fresh Atlantic herring, lobstermen’s go-to bait. The shortage caused prices to rise by as much as 30 percent in July.
A state survey says pogies are the second most used bait fish among Maine fisherman.
Officials say Maine may reopen the fishery if it determines it still has room to land the silver fish under the episodic cap.