Scallop fishermen poised for fight over valuable shellfish

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Scallop fishing has increased dramatically off some parts of New England recently, and fishermen and regulators will soon meet to discuss how to avoid overexploiting the valuable shellfish.

Scallop grounds off of northern Massachusetts have been especially fertile, prompting increased fishing in the area. The New England Fishery Management Council will hold a public meeting about the issue Wednesday.

Exactly how more regulations would impact consumers is unclear. Prices for scallops have been high in recent months, and catch levels have dropped from the boom years of the mid-2000s.

However, scallop fishermen still caught more than 15,000 metric tons of sea scallops in 2014. That is about twice the annual haul for much of the 1990s, and value per pound has more than doubled since 20 years ago.