For the first time in 35 years, there will be no shrimp season for New Hampshire fishermen.
This week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to shut down the shrimp season for the Gulf of Maine, which includes New Hampshire's coastal waters.
"It's a big blow," said Peter Kendall, manager of Yankee Fisherman's Coop. "It's just been a bad year all the way around, between the ground fishing industry where we were hit 77 percent, and the tuna was very slow, and now not to have a shrimp season in the middle of winter, it's really tough this year."
Regulators said scientific data shows that the shrimp population is on a dramatic decline, which has led to shorter seasons in recent years. But this will be the first time since 1978 that there will be a complete moratorium to rebuild the stock.
Kendall said that after years of fishing, he sold his boat over the summer. He said overfishing of shrimp is not to blame for the decline in population.
"We didn't even catch half of our quota last year, and so it's really not the fishermen to blame," he said. "It's more of an environmental factor going on."
Ocean temperatures have risen in recent years, and shrimp and the plankton they feed on need cold water.
"We just hope that next year, the scientists will allow us to have somewhat of a season, anything," Kendall said.
Kendall said that if populations don't recover next year, that will show that the decrease in population isn't linked to fishing.