HALLOWELL, ME – At press time, Maine scallopers were having to come to grips with the realities of the state’s commitment to rebuild the resource as a combination of growing abundance of small scallops and increased fishing effort prompted closures and other restrictions in key fishing areas.
On Jan. 18, the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) announced emergency closures of these targeted six areas to protect broodstock and undersized scallops for future seasons: Moosabec Reach in Jonesport; Inner Harbor/Deep Hole/Southeast Harbor in Stonington; Somes Harbor in the Mt. Desert Island area on Fridays only; the Damariscotta River; and the Medomak River in Waldoboro.
The following week, DMR finalized emergency restrictions for Cobscook Bay in scallop Zone 3 having determined that, after 24 days of fishing, scallopers had harvested more than 278,000 pounds of meats out of an estimated harvestable biomass of 380,100 pounds for the area. In 2012, the entire state landed 289,827 pounds, according to the DMR.
Although it was taking fishermen longer to catch their daily limit, a sign that the scallop resource was being tapped out, the fishery was still going strong, making it difficult for some to accept the agency’s decision to limit fishing effort in Cobscook Bay.
Read the rest and much, much more in the February issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
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