HALLOWELL — The Department of Marine Resources is shutting down parts of eastern Maine’s Cobscook Bay to scallop fishing after fishermen reported small scallop sizes and large quantities of scallops sustaining damage under heavy fishing pressure.

Acting Commissioner Patrick Keliher on Friday enacted an emergency closure of the East and South bays in Cobscook Bay effective Monday. Keliher said by leaving a portion of Cobscook Bay open to scallop fishing, he is trying to strike a balance between protecting the scallop stocks and giving fishermen some fishing opportunities for the remainder of the season.

Scallop season opened Dec. 17 and continues through March.

Scallop populations throughout state waters are at low levels, prompting regulators to close 20 percent of the coast to scallop fishing two years ago.

 

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