Maine shrimp season will remain closed for at least 3 more years

Maine shrimp … remember? These little pink delicacies. I have very vivid memories, very good memories, I could add some nice crustacean that I was looking forward to all summer and fall until the arrival of the winter season.

I would hook up with a local fisherman who was shrimp shrimp or I would go to my local fishmonger and get 20-40 pounds of gulf of Maine delicacies. Often for the very affordable price of 99 cents a pound. Now don’t get me wrong, I could have paid more for some already processed shrimp meat, but I enjoyed making the shrimp myself for 4 hours. The heads made an amazing shrimp base which I have made, frozen and used all year round. And of course all those frozen shrimp that I have also used all year round.

Keep in mind that this was an annual routine for me. That was until 2013, when fishing in Maine was closed due to what experts say was a declining population due to increasingly warm waters in the Gulf of Maine. Every year I would sit and wait and think to myself … maybe this is the year they come back.

Sad to say, every year since, the answer is no!
Today (12/17/21), the board of directors of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Regulatory Commission voted to keep the fishery closed for at least three years. Also during the meeting maybe a little silver lining as they also voted to take a closer look at the possibility of allowing personal use fishing of my favorite shrimp. But, we’ll see.

All is not lost, you can still find frozen Canadian northern shrimp, which is effectively the same species we have here in the Gulf of Maine. Their fishery remains open and has all the years of our closures on the state side.

I now have several books of these pink delicacies in my freezer, although harvested in Canada, and purchased from Delano’s Seafood in Waldoboro. Although it’s bittersweet, I really enjoyed the whole Maine shrimp tradition, from talking to the fisherman about the catch, to the manual processing, to the smell of boiling broth, it’s a memory that will live on in my mind forever.

My fingers crossed for a 2025 Maine shrimp season!

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