Regulators look for solutions to lobster bait shortage

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2016 12:16 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Interstate fishery managers will meet to discuss how to regulate the catch of a key lobster bait fish they say is at risk of heavy fishing.

Herring is the most popular bait fish for lobsters, and fishermen aren't catching many far off New England. Regulators fear heavy herring fishing closer to shore will result in the fishery hitting its quota before the end of September.

Members of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's herring board will meet Wednesday to discuss how to manage the rate of catch off states like Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Lobsters were worth more than a half-billion dollars in 2015. Live lobsters have been plentiful and easily available to consumers. But members of the industry fear a bait shortage could disrupt that stability.