Herring bait shortage could pinch Maine Lobstermen

atlantic herringMaine regulators are considering intervening to help fix a bait shortage that threatens to affect its signature lobster fishing industry. Lobstermen typically use herring for bait, and regulators and members of the fishing industry say there’s a shortage of them. The shortage is happening at the time of year when lobster catches usually start to pick up — and just as New England’s high tourist season is arriving. The Maine Department of Marine Resources met Tuesday afternoon to discuss what role it can play. Meredith Mendelson, the deputy commissioner of the department, told The Associated Press before the meeting that the department anticipates passing rules at a later date based on Tuesday’s discussion. The problem is that not enough herring are being caught on Georges Bank, a key fishing area off Massachusetts, members of the fishing industry said. That means there could be more herring fishing closer to the shore, and fishermen could reach their quota for that area before the summer is out. Read the story here 08:47