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Environment and Outdoors

New Rules for New England Shrimp Fishery - If It Reopens

PORTLAND, Maine - New England's long-shuttered shrimp fishery will likely have new rules designed to protect the vulnerable population of the critters if it reopens.

The fishery, formerly based mostly in Maine, has been shut down since 2013 because the shrimps' reproduction has fallen in the warming Gulf of Maine. But an arm of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has set new rules for the fishery, which could open as soon as this winter.

The commission says one of the changes will be to require trawlers to use new gear to minimize the catch of small shrimp. The commission's northern shrimp section approved the new rules on Aug. 31 and full approval is expected next month.

A November decision is expected on whether to allow the fishery to reopen next year.