Gulf of Maine Scallop Fishery Likely Facing Changes

Apr 20, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine - Some changes may be on the way for how the northern Gulf of Maine scallop fishery is managed. 

Preliminary estimates indicate that the scallop harvest for 2017 will exceed a million pounds, well above the total allowable catch of 70,000 pounds.

Regulators attribute the higher numbers to "limited access" vessels, which fish a certain number of days at sea, while smaller boats are assigned a daily catch limit.

Jonathan Peros, with the New England Fishery Management Council, says the big question going forward is how to structure access to the area for both classes of vessels. "How that harvest is structured is likely to depend on the overall biomass in the area."

Peros says it's likely that tighter regulation will be placed on the limited access vessels.