Public hearing scheduled in New Jersey to address past lobster bait shortages

 In this July 8, 2015 photo, herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

In this July 8, 2015 photo, herring are unloaded from a fishing boat in Rockland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has planned several public hearings to discuss new catch limits to prevent a lobster bait shortage.

The hearings by the interstate fishing council will take place in Cape May, New Jersey, on March 27; Wiscasset, Maine, on April 3; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on April 4; and Gloucester, Massachusetts on April 5.

Atlantic herring is popular to use for lobster bait. Last year commercial fishing boats on the East Coast exceeded their quota creating a shortage of the fish for lobster fisherman in the summer.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is working on a plan to more evenly distribute the herring quota during the fishing year. 

New Jersey boasts a number of the busiest fishing ports on the East Coast, including The Port of Cape May/Wildwood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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