Lobster catch may increase, due to shrimp restrictions

Fish market owner doubtful that it will lower prices

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A lack of shrimp off the New England coast could mean more lobster this winter.

The federal government has shut down the Maine shrimp season due to a dwindling population this time of year. But those fishermen could now be trapping lobster.

Lobster is not in as high demand during the winter as it is during the summer, so lobstermen use the shrimp season to make some extra money and pay for their boats. But with the shrimp season over, they could all be competing for the clawed crustacean.

With more lobster on the market, the idea is the price per pound could come down, but Schermerhorn’s Seafood Owner Michael Fitzgerald told 22News he doesn’t think that’s going to happen.

“I think the verdict’s still out as far as pricing. It’s going have a lot to do with demand and weather,” Fitzgerald said.

“There’s no demand that I’m seeing in this area, but over in Europe, there’s demand and that’s where a lot of our lobsters go.”

Fitzgerald said that with the rain, extreme cold and snow we’ve had lately, he doesn’t think many fishermen will be out for long periods of time in the high seas.

This is the second year that regulators have shut down the shrimp season early to allow shrimp to grow their population again off the coast of Maine.

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