The lobster industry's difficulty getting enough bait could be about to get worse because of upcoming closures in the herring fishery.
Herring is the preferred bait for lobster fishermen, who use the fish to lure the valuable crustaceans into traps. But herring have been in short supply this year because fishermen aren't catching many of them in offshore New England waters.
Fishing managers have instituted limits on inshore herring fishing to try to ensure a steady supply of herring throughout summer.
The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is also closing an area off eastern Maine to herring fishing from Aug. 28 to Sept. 24.
The shortage of bait has not yet appeared to impact the price or availability of lobsters to consumers. Many fishermen say bait has been expensive.