WASHINGTON D.C. – Federal regulators closed the Gulf of Maine to scallop fishing just after midnight Thursday.
They issued the order after small boat scallop harvesters met their quota of 70,000 pounds for the season.
It isn’t without controversy.
The small boats compete with the larger trawlers that can stay at sea for days at a time and they don’t have to abide by the same quotas.
It’s believed they’ve harvested more than 1-million pounds of scallops this year which is raising more concerns about depleting the scallop populations.
Members of Maine’s Congressional Delegation and others are calling on regulators to change the rules to make it more fair for all fishermen and to also protect the resource. Others feel the fishery is thriving and there’s no need for concern.
Today’s closure order will impact the boats that fish well offshore and not the boats that fish closer to shore.