Maine’s dilemma: Growing scallop resource leads to effort increase

ROCKLAND, ME – In a rare case of “be careful what you wish for,” the state of Maine is wrestling with the problem of how to deal with an influx of fishermen attracted by the impressive rebound of its scallop resource.

The recent effort increase was a hot topic at a June 3 meeting at the Rockland Ferry Terminal, one of six being held by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) this spring as it works with industry to strike an appropriate balance between current and future economic and biological sustainability.

The “problem” began back in 2008 when DMR initiated an overhaul of its scallop management program.  A suite of significant changes followed, including:  a 50% season length reduction; the establishment of a 200-pound possession limit, which has since been lowered even further; and closures of roughly 20% of Maine’s state waters.

When the closed grounds were reopened as Limited Access Areas in 2012, the DMR implemented an area management program, including a rotational management program in Eastern Maine that will result in two-thirds of all grounds being closed for the upcoming season…


Read the rest and much, much more in the July issue of Commercial Fisheries News.

Read online immediately and download for future reference.