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Measuring around 18 miles long, New Hampshire has the smallest shoreline of all coastal states. But for about 400 years, it’s been enough to support small boat fishermen in the Seacoast region. They make their livings cruising New England’s waters for cod, lobster, shrimp and other stocks.For decades, the industry’s been challenged by declining populations of fish and shellfish, as well as changing federal regulations. As of 2010, New England fishermen are allowed to catch a set poundage of fish based on their take over a 10-year span. New Hampshire fishermen argue this change has made the cost of working outpace profits, forced many small boats out of business, and discouraged new people from entering the industry. No matter the cause, figures from the US Census Bureau clearly show an industry in decline. In Portsmouth, the Seacoast’s main city, the Census Bureau reports only 0.2 percent of residents work in the “Farming, fishing and forestry occupations” category. That’s compared to 0.6 percent in 2000. A number of New Hampshire fishermen, politicians, and historians believe that without change, the state’s small boat fishing industry is heading toward extinction.Summary provided by StateImpact NH

N.H.'s Catch Limit Fishing Rules Will Change In 2014

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New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department says changes have been made to rules for catching smelt, striped bass, white perch, haddock and cod for 2015.

Daily limits have been reduced for smelt to accommodate a decline and striped bass to comply with a fishery management plan.

The daily limit of 25 white perch for coastal waters now matches the limit for inland waters.

There's now a daily limit of three haddock, and a closed season for harvesting haddock from March 1-April 30 and from Sept. 1-Nov. 30. For cod, the size limit has increased from 19 to 21 inches, and the closed season in state waters is now Sept. 1 through April 14. For more than 3 miles from shore, all cod caught must be immediately returned to the water.

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