Scallop meat is shucked at sea off Harpswell, Dec. 17, 2011. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

BOSTON — Federal fishing managers said they are shutting down a key scallop fishing area to some boats for nearly a year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its closure will apply to the northern Gulf of Maine area. The closure went into effect Thursday and is scheduled to last until March 31, 2020.

NOAA said scallop boats that fish under federal regulations will not be able to fish for or possess scallops from the northern Gulf of Maine, nor will they be able to bring the scallops to land. The agency said the closure is required because the total allowable catch for the area is projected to be taken.

Scallops are one of the most valuable fisheries in the U.S., sometimes exceeding $500 million in value at docks.