WHITING – Maine officials say the state’s shutting down a few high traffic scallop fishing areas to prevent overfishing.

The Maine Department of Marine Resource is closing Sand and Machias bays and Lower Englishman Bay starting on Sunday. It’s also shutting down parts of Cobscook Bay, which is the most fertile scallop fishing ground in Maine.

The parts of Cobscook Bay that will no longer be accessible include Whiting and Dennys bays.

The marine department says scallop monitoring surveys and industry reports show catch rates have slowed and fishermen are near their catch targets. The state routinely uses closures to prevent scallops from being overharvested.

Maine’s scallop fishery collapsed in the mid-2000s and has steadily rebuilt since. The state crafted new management measures for the shellfish in attempt to save the fishery.

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