Joe Jurek knew his catch would be popular. He just didn’t know how popular.
Jurek, a Gloucester-based groundfisherman who specializes in yellow-tail flounder on most fishing days, now holds the rarified position as the only Massachusetts fisherman allowed to fish for northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine.
His tenure as shrimper-in-residence will last only two more weeks, much to the dismay of local northern shrimp lovers — including Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken — who literally have trooped down to the dock with buckets to try to buy the cold-water delicacies. The local shrimp have disappeared from seafood retail shops in the last four years the shrimp fishery has been closed.
“Once people found out about it, it was like a bunch of seagulls,” said Romeo Theken, who along with a couple other dozen friends put in an order for about 230 pounds of the small, sweet shrimp. “Now people know the process, that they