Federal regulators are closing scallop fishing in the northern Gulf of Maine, one of the most important harvesting areas for the shellfish.

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say fishermen have reached their quota for the area and it will be closed starting Friday. The closure to federally permitted scallop boats will last until Feb. 28.

New England Fishery Management Council analyst Deirdre Boelke says the closure is the first of its kind since the current quota system was implemented in 2008. She says it’s unlikely to have a dramatic impact on availability or price of scallops nationally.

The Atlantic scallop fishery was worth more than $400 million in 2014.


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