Gulf of Maine Scallops
The Gulf of Maine scallop fishery is making a comeback. The Fishermen's Association is working to develop a sustainable fishery for Maine.
For the first time in almost two decades, scallops are rebuilding in the Gulf of Maine. The return of scallops to federal waters offers a fantastic opportunity for Maine's fleet. The Fishermen's Association is working with Maine scallop fishermen to build a sustainable fishery.
Maine Scallop Fishermen Secure Important Access to Northern Gulf of Maine Resources
Three years ago, MCFA began working with fishermen and local businesses to improve scallop management and give a voice to scallop fishermen on important regulatory issues. As a result of the work from these efforts, at a virtual meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council on Oct 1, 2020, the Council voted in favor of regulations that protect both the scallop resource and Maine scallop fishermen.
The Council moved forward a set of regulations that will set aside the first 800,000lbs of allowable scallop quota for the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Permit Holders and General Category IFQ fleet of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. After the first 800,000lbs any additional quota will be split 95% to the big Limited Access boats and 5% to the NGOM quota allowing for some small continued growth. The scallop set aside will allow for preferential access for the small boats within this area and create stability for the small-boat fleet moving forward.
The allowable catch will be set based upon stock assessments in the area, so the decision by the council does not mean that 800,000lbs of catch will be available to be caught in 2021. Fishermen should anticipate an allowable catch similar to last year in the 200,000lbs to 300,000lbs range. As the stock grows though, fishermen will be able to see the benefits of stewardship and science-based management.
There are some amazing folks (fishermen, community members, business leaders, and Maine officials) who worked incredibly hard to make this campaign a success. Thank you to everyone who went to meetings, wrote letters, and made phone calls in support of this effort.
Special Thanks to:
Both have been working to protect Maine's scallop fishermen for decades. thank you.