Price of herring, a key bait fish for lobsters, fluctuating for eastern Maine's fishermen

Associated Press

The price of a critical bait fish is fluctuating heavily in recent weeks for fishermen on Maine's eastern coast.

WLBZ-TV (http://on.wlbz2.com/1KoGCk2 ) reports Atlantic herring normally costs about $25 per bushel, but the price shot up to almost $40 in many areas last week when the fish became less available. Herring is the most popular form of bait among Maine lobstermen.

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The cost of bait tends to be higher the further north it is shipped because the principal Atlantic herring fisheries are in Massachusetts and southern Maine. State regulators say a computer glitch resulted in a miscalculation of the quota for the fish in inshore areas of the Gulf of Maine. That caused an immediate cap on herring fishing in that area.

Bait prices appear to be leveling off this week.

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Information from: WLBZ-TV, http://www.wlbz2.com