Scallop Rules Reversed by NE Council

February 16, 2010

The New England Fishery Management Council reversed in late January an earlier decision to close scallop grounds for longer periods and prevent access to some areas.

After nearly six hours of testimony by fishermen and elected officials, council members voted 10-5 with two abstentions to allow nine more “open area” days-at-sea and four “access area” trips.

The decision was partly reached when witnesses pointed out that earlier targets for reducing mortality of scallops were based on 2008-2009 fishing effort, but fishing is occurring at lower rates now. Council members determined the economic hardships likely to occur in fishing communities outweighed the reduced chance of overfishing in one of the region’s few still-lucrative commercial fisheries.


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