ELLSWORTH — It’s still too early for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) to know exactly what scallop landings were in the season that ended March 31, but there is little doubt about one thing. Maine’s scallop fishery is trouble and it’s going to take big changes to ensure the fishery continues.
This week, the DMR and the Scallop Advisory Council (SAC) began a series of industry meetings throughout the state to get fishermen talking about implementing conservation measures the department considers critical to opening the 2009-2010 scallop season.
The SAC will meet at City Hall in Ellsworth Thursday, April 9 at 6 p.m. Next week, the council will meet in Eastport on Monday, at Jonesport/Beals High School on Tuesday, and at the University of Maine-Machias on Wednesday to get input from scallop fishermen who work in those areas.
The DMR is considering two measures to include in what it calls a “strategic plan” for managing the state’s scallop fishery. The first is to establish an area management system similar to the zone management mechanism used in the lobster industry. The other is to close certain areas to scallop fishing for periods as long as three years or more.
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