The Maine Scallop Lottery
...In fisheries there are essentially two types of permits, open access, meaning that anyone can go and buy one and go fishing, and limited entry which means that there are only a certain number of them that exist and that there are a series of rules that outline who retains those permits.
For Maine fishermen, scallop is limited entry, meaning that at one point a decision was made by the state to restrict the number of permits in existence. For scallops, this happened in 2008 when it was decided that if you didn’t have a permit you couldn’t get one in 2009. This was done because the previous 10 years had seen a significant decline in the scallop biomass, the data suggested the fishery was on the verge of a rebound, and the hope was that by restricting the number of participants the Department of Marine Resources could better manage the resource for growth and long-term sustainability.... learn more in the Maine Coast Dock Talk podcast.