Fishermen of a key bait species might soon learn how much of a reduction in catch they will face in the near future.
Federal regulators have slashed the catch limits for Atlantic herring, which is an important source of bait for America's lucrative lobster fishery.
The New England Fishery Management Council is meeting on Tuesday in South Portland to make a decision about the catch limits for 2020.
The total catch of herring this year will be less than a fifth of the 2014 harvest of more than 200 million pounds. Options for 2020 include keeping catch limits at current levels or reducing them further.
Scientists say a below-average number of young herring are joining the population of the fish. Herring are important as food for whales and larger fish.