Scallop Fishermen Poised For Fight Over Valuable Shellfish

In this photo made Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, scallop meat is shucked at sea on opening day off Harpswell, Maine. Maine scallop fishermen are expected to get record-high prices for their catch this season amid signs that the scallop resource is rebounding after a decade of low harvests. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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 over exploiting 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 scallopshave 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.

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