Feds recommend raising scallop catch limits

Posted April 28, 2011, at 5:45 p.m.

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Federal fisheries managers have proposed raising the limit on the lucrative sea scallop catch.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposal raises the limit from 47 million to 51 million pounds this fishing year, then 55 million pounds in 2012.

The increases were recommended by regional managers last year. The NOAA proposal also limits fishing in certain areas from June to October to protect sea turtles.

Scallops have made New Bedford, Mass., the country’s top revenue port for a decade, with $250 million in revenues in 2009.

Drew Minkiewicz, an attorney for the Fisheries Survival Fund, said the industry thought the new catch limits could be higher, but they’re around what scallopers expected.

He said the turtle protections are an overreaction to rare contact with the animals, but fishermen can work with them.

 

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