Scallop closures

AUGUSTA — The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Commissioner adopted emergency rulemaking for the implementation of conservation closures located in Chandler Bay/Head Harbor Island, Damariscotta River (hand-harvest only), North Haven, mid-Penobscot Bay and Lower Blue Hill Bay/Jericho Bay in order to protect Maine’s scallop resource due to the risk of imminent depletion and unusual damage. The DMR is concerned that unrestricted harvest during the remainder of the 2016-2017 fishing season in these specific areas may damage sublegal scallops that could be caught during subsequent fishing seasons, as well as reducing brood stock essential to a recovery.

Based on direct input from Marine Patrol and independent industry participants as well as observations made through the department’s monitoring programs, the level of fishing effort in these areas during the fishing season has exceeded the 30 percent removal target that ensures the fishery continues to rebuild. Divers also will be allowed continued access to Damariscotta River until such time as further management actions are necessary.

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