PORTLAND — Shrimp fishermen are casting their nets with the start of New England’s shrimp-fishing season.

The season got under way Wednesday, but isn’t expected to last long with a quota of only 1.4 million pounds, down sharply from last year’s catch of 5.3 million pounds.

Net fishermen this winter have a quota of 1.2 million pounds and can fish only two days a week.

Trap fishermen can begin pulling their shrimp traps on Feb. 5. They have a quota of 200,000 pounds.

Shrimp fishing provides a small but important winter fishery. Maine boats account for about 90 percent of the catch, with New Hampshire and Massachusetts boats catching the rest.

Scientists recommended a low quota this year because the shrimp population is in poor shape due to environmental conditions.

 

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