Tweaks to lucrative East Coast scallop fishery up for debate

Federal fishing managers are holding a series of hearings along the East Coast to gather feedback about potential changes to the rules governing the U.S.’s lucrative Atlantic ocean scallop fishery.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working on tweaks to the scallop fishing rules that include potential changes to the quota system. The changes could affect how scallops are harvested in the northern Gulf of Maine, a key fishing area off New England.

The hearings begin Feb. 28 in Rockport, Maine, and conclude April 3 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. There will also be hearings in New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and New Jersey.

U.S. sea scallops were worth nearly $500 million at the docks in 2016. The majority of the scallops came to land in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia.