State changes time, place of scallop meeting

Posted Dec. 23, 2011, at 7:22 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — State officials have decided to change the time and place of a Dec. 27 emergency meeting of the Scallop Advisory Council.

The meeting, which has been scheduled so fishermen and state officials can discuss the apparent weak status of scallops in Cobscook Bay, will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the Whiting town office, officials with Maine Department of Marine Resources indicated Friday. The meeting had been scheduled to be held in Ellsworth earlier the same day.

The Whiting town office is on Route 1, across the road from the western end of Route 189 and the Whiting Store.

The annual winter scallop-fishing season began Dec. 17. Scallop fishing is not permitted on Thursdays or Fridays this December, so there have been only five open fishing days so far since the season started.

According to state officials, scallop fishermen have told them that the scallops harvested since last Saturday in Cobscook Bay have been small in individual size and low in numbers. As a result, some fishermen have contacted state officials to express concern about the apparent poor state of the resource in Cobscook Bay, which generally has been considered one of the best in the state.

Harvesting scallops has been banned in part of Cobscook Bay since September 2009, when low scallop numbers prompted DMR to close 12 noncontiguous areas along the coast to scallop fishing. The closures were expected to expire with the start of the 2012-2013 winter fishing season, the dates of which have not yet been set.

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