PORTLAND, Maine - As the commission that regulates Atlantic fisheries is due to vote on whether to keep the shrimp fishery open for another year because of population concerns, a research project at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute is looking to get some real numbers about those populations.
The institute is sending Maine lobstermen out with acoustic equipment that will help them learn where the shrimp are congregating over the winter, and where they lay their eggs.
Adam Baukus, a research associate at GMRI, says using sound allows researchers to cover a lot more ground. "The sampling is being done in areas that haven't been surveyed in the past, but in the future fisheries managers may use the results to figure out whether it's time to reopen the shrimp fishery."
It's been closed since a population collapse during the 2013 fishing season that's thought to be related to warming ocean temperatures.