Maine's Scallop Fishery to Face More Closures

Aug 15, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine regulators want to shut down several waterways to scallop fishing in the coming season as they attempt to rebuild the fishery.

The news comes as Maine's Department of Marine Resources is warning fishermen that the coming season could be subject to an emergency closure. The season runs from December to April.

State officials are considering a plan to shut down Eastern Casco Bay, Damariscotta River, Ocean Point and Lower Muscle Ridge. Another area, Muscle Ridge, would be open twice a week. Several mooring field closures are also proposed.

Maine's scallop catch typically exceeded a million pounds of meat from the late 1970s to the mid-'90s, but then declined dramatically. The fishery bottomed out at 33,141 pounds in 2005 before starting to recover. Fishermen caught 424,547 pounds in 2013.