PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - With the quota slashed and warnings that the Gulf of Maine shrimp population was in bad shape, fishermen expected this to be a bad shrimp season.
But it's turned out to be a bigger bust than anybody anticipated. The catch has been meager, resulting in a short supply for processors and higher prices for consumers.
In the first seven weeks through March 8, fishermen had caught only 597,000 pounds. The season is on course for the smallest harvest in more than 30 years.
Fishermen from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts caught 5.3 million pounds last year and 13 million pounds in 2011.
Dave Osier, a fisherman and shrimp dealer in South Bristol, says the harvest is worse than expected, but at least fishermen are getting high prices for their catch.
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