In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, scallop meat is shucked off a shell in Harpswell, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine fishery officials are holding a lottery to allow new fishermen into one of the state’s most lucrative marine industries.

The state plans to give out 14 scallop fishing licenses. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said eight of the licenses will be for operators of drag boats and six will be for fishermen who dive for scallops.

The lottery started taking applications Sept. 29 and will close on Oct. 29.

Maine scallops were worth about $5.5 million at the docks last year. The scallops are a popular restaurant item in New England and elsewhere.