HALLOWELL — Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced emergency conservation closures Friday for scallop harvesting in Pleasant Bay and Lower Englishman Bay in Washington County. The emergency closures are in effect as of Saturday, Dec. 27.
A Department of Marine Resources statement announcing the closure cited “risk of unusual damage and imminent depletion.”
When rules were announced for the current scallop season, regulators warned that emergency closures might be necessary.
“The Department is concerned that unrestricted harvesting during the remainder of the 2014-15 fishing season in these areas may deplete a severely diminished resource beyond its ability to recover,” the statement says.
“Continued harvesting may damage sublegal scallops that could be caught during subsequent fishing seasons, as well as reduce the broodstock essential to a recovery.”