Maine shrimp....remember those? Those sweet lil pink delights. I have very vivid memories, fond ones, I might add of the lovely crustacean that I looked forward to all summer and fall until the winter season arrived.

I would either connect with a local fisherman who was shrimpin' or head to my local fish monger and get 20-40 pounds of head-on, Gulf of Maine delights. Often for the very affordable price of 99 cents a pound. Now don't get me wrong, I could have payed more for already processed shrimp meat, but I took pleasure in the 4 hour process of prepping the shrimp myself. The heads made an amazing shrimp base that I rendered, froze, and used all year. And of course all those flash frozen shrimps that I used all year as well.

Keep in mind, this was a yearly routine for me. That is up until 2013 when the fishery in Maine was closed due to what the experts say was a declining population due to the ever warmer waters of the Gulf of Maine. Each year I'd sit back and wait and say to myself...maybe this is the year they return.

Sad to say, each year since, the answer has been no!
Today (12/17/21), the board of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to keep the fishery shut down for at least three more yearT. Also in the meeting maybe a small glimmer of hope in that they also voted to take a closer look at allowing personal use fishing for my favorite shrimp. But, we'll see.

All is not lost, you can still find frozen Northern Shrimp from Canada, which is effectively the same species as we have here in the Gulf of Maine. Their fishery remains open, and has all the years of our closures state side.

I have several pounds of these pink delights in my freezer now, albeit harvested in Canada, and bought at Delano's Seafood in Waldoboro. Although, it is bittersweet, I really enjoyed the whole tradition of Maine Shrimp, from talking to the fisherman about the catch, to the hand processing, to the smell of the stock boiling, it's a memory that will live in my mind forever.

Here's crossing my fingers for a 2025 Maine Shrimp season!

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