DMR announces emergency scallop closure in Damariscotta River
The commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources has issued an emergency closure of five scallop beds in the Midcoast and Down East.
One is the Damariscotta River, where hand-harvesting will still be permitted.
According to the Feb. 23 announcement, the department is concerned that an unrestricted harvest the rest of this fishing season will damage juvenile and undersized scallops, reducing the numbers for future seasons. The Department of Marine Patrol said the level of scallop fishing has exceeded this year’s target of 30 percent removal.
Trisha Cheney, marine resources management coordinator for DMR, said that in the Damariscotta, divers who harvest scallops by hand will have access unless more management actions are found to be necessary. The new regulations were set to start Feb. 26.