AUGUSTA — Four weeks into the Maine scallop season, things continue to look good for harvesters.
The rotational closures implemented in Zone 2 (Penobscot Bay to Lubec-Campobello Island Bridge) last year are now bearing fruit, and the same is true for targeted closures in Zone 1 (Maine/New Hampshire border to Penobscot Bay).
Fishermen in Zone 3 (Maine territorial coastal waters north and east of Lubec-Campobello Island Bridge) continue to catch their daily limit in a couple of hours and are dealing with less competition as the fishing remains strong to the west.
A Jan. 1 emergency regulation implemented targeted closures where the fishery has reached harvest targets, which are between 30 percent and 40 percent of the harvestable biomass. The DMR uses emergency rulemaking to ensure that the resource continues to rebuild by managing adaptively during the season and ensuring that areas are not overfished.
Zone 2 harvesters in the lower Blue Hill and Jonesport areas have reported regularly landing U-10s, large scallops (10 per pound) favored by restaurants.
In-season monitoring efforts have determined that the Narraguagus/Pigeon Hill Bay Rotational Area and the Chandler Bay area both have met harvest targets, so targeted closures for both these areas were implemented Jan. 1.
However, fishermen already have moved out of these areas and continue to report good catches elsewhere in Zone 2.