Tags: maine | scallop | fishing | area | closed

Maine Scallop Fishing Area Closed 'til Next Year After Quota Busted

Image: Maine Scallop Fishing Area Closed 'til Next Year After Quota Busted
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By    |   Friday, 13 May 2016 06:50 AM

One of Maine's top scallop fishing areas has been closed until next year because federal regulators said fishermen there have reached their quota for the season, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Associated Press reported that the North Gulf of Maine Scallop
Management Area is one of the most important spots for shellfish harvesting. The closure, which went into effect Friday, will remain until Feb. 28, 2017.

"As of May 13, 2016, no scallop vessel fishing under federal scallop regulations may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the (North Gulf of Maine) Scallop Management Area," read a NOAA statement released Wednesday.

The closure is unlikely to have a big impact on the price of scallops or availability in the U.S., New England Fishery Management Council analyst Deirdre Boelke told the AP.

The NOAA had updated its Atlantic Sea scallop allocations in a statement on May 4, warning fishermen at that time about overages.

According to The Associated Press, scallop fishing in the northern Gulf of Maine area has created tension this year because fishing boats were allowed to move into the waters off the northern Massachusetts coast to hunt for the shellfish. The northern Gulf of Maine fishing area touches Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, according to wire agency.

"The Atlantic sea scallop is one of the most valuable fisheries in the United States," NOAA wrote. "The primary range for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery is along the Atlantic coast from the Mid-Atlantic to the US/Canada border."

"The scallop fishery uses predominantly paired or single scallop dredges throughout the entire range of the fishery. To a lesser extent, and mainly in the Mid-Atlantic region, the scallop fishery uses trawl gear. Most vessels land Atlantic sea scallops as shucked meats (the adductor muscle) but some vessels also land whole (in-shell) scallops," the NOAA statement continued.

In 2012, U.S. fishermen harvested 56 million pounds of Atlantic sea scallop meats worth more than $546 million, making it the largest and most valuable wild scallop fishery in the world, according to NOAA.

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One of Maine's top scallop fishing areas has been closed until next year because federal regulators said fishermen there have reached their quota for the season, according to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
maine, scallop, fishing, area, closed
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2016-50-13
Friday, 13 May 2016 06:50 AM
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