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Scallop Fishing To Remain Closed

Environment Politics +1 more

US - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that it will not reopen the Nantucket Lightship Access Area to scallop fishing on the 15 June, as was previously planned.

The decision comes after the New England Fishery Management Council and members of the scallop industry requested it stay closed.

Current high prices of scallop mean fishing in the area has become more desirable.

The decision to keep the area closed was therefore reached as a precaution, to stop the risk of overfishing.

Drew Minkiewicz, an attorney with the Fisheries Survival Fund, which represents sea scallop fishermen added: “we don't want to risk exceeding our catch limits for the fishery or compromise the effectiveness of the rotational management program".

Eric Schwaab, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service said: “We are working with the council and scallop fishermen to protect scallops and southern New England yellowtail flounder stocks in this area to allow for future sustainable fishing here. By ensuring sustainable scallop yields for the future from this area, we are also preserving the integrity of our successful rotational management programme.”

Rotational management, where some areas are opened to fishing while others are closed to allow scallops to mature and grow to marketable size, promotes higher catches with less fishing time in the areas that are open.

Rotational management has helped make the scallop fishery one of the top valued fisheries in the nation and made New Bedford, Mass., the nation’s top earning port.