- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (AP) - Federal regulators say East Coast fishermen will be allowed to catch the same amount of deep sea red crabs in the next few years.

Deep sea red crabs can inhabit depths of nearly 6,000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean and are fished off of New England and the mid-Atlantic. They are harvested for use as fresh picked crab meat and frozen crab legs.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says fishermen will be allowed to catch nearly 4 million pounds of the crabs in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The crabs are brought to shore mostly in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Norfolk, Virginia.

NOAA says catch was below quota in recent years, but has been increasing. The agency says scientists believe continuing the current volume of catch won’t cause overfishing.

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