New England shrimp fishermen have solid season

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The combination of a healthy shrimp population, favorable weather and stable markets have made for a solid shrimp fishing season in New England.

It’s been so solid, in fact, that regulators are putting an early halt to the season because fishermen have caught so much shrimp.

The catch so far has come in at nearly 11 million pounds, making it the biggest harvest since 1997. Fishing comes to an end late Wednesday, three weeks early.

Even with the early closure, Cozy Harbor Seafood President John Norton says the markets for Gulf of Maine shrimp have rebounded from last year when the global recession dampened demand.

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But he says the industry won’t benefit from closures in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s because the New England catch serves different markets.

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