As Fishermen Age, Maine Looks For New Scallop Harvesters

Feb 14, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s fishing managers are considering letting new people into the scallop fishery for the first time in nearly a decade.

A legislative committee is set to vote on a proposal to create a license lottery system on Wednesday. The average age of Maine scallop fishermen is higher than 50. The fishery has been closed to new people since 2009.

Maine’s scallop fishery has stabilized recently after crashing in the mid-2000s. It set a record value at $12.77 per pound at the docks in 2016.

The nationwide fishery has also been strong. The value of scallops in the U.S. began rising in the late 1990s and topped out at more than $585 million at the docks in 2011. The nationwide fishery was still worth nearly a half billion dollars in 2016.