- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The states of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are seeking four shrimp trawling vessels to collect samples for research this winter.

In November, federal regulators shut down the commercial fishing season for northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine for a second straight year, citing concerns about the declining population and warmer ocean temperatures. Regulators set aside 25 metric ton quota of northern shrimp for research purposes, however.

Participants in the research project announced Wednesday will fish in the four regions of the Gulf of Maine about every two weeks starting in mid- or late-January and continuing until the shrimp are no longer carrying eggs, perhaps until the middle of March.

There is a total of $10,000 available. Each participant will be required to make five research trips and will get $500 per trip. They also will be allowed to land and sell up to 1,800 pounds of shrimp per trip. Maine also is seeking five shrimp trapping vessels to collect samples starting in February. Trappers will be allowed up to 10 traps each, with a 100 lb. catch limit that can be kept for personal use but not sold.

The project’s goal is to collect data on shrimp size, gender and development, and the timing of their egg hatchings.

Applications are due to Maggie Hunter at the Maine Department of Marine Resources by Jan. 8.

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