FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, scallop meat is shucked at sea off Harpswell, Maine. The state's scallop harvest declined by about a third in 2018, marking the first time in several years that the valuable fishery has taken a step back. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Maine shelled out fewer prized scallops in 2018

March 09, 2019 - 9:33 am

ROCKPORT, Maine (AP) — Maine's scallop harvest declined by about a third in 2018, marking the first time in several years that the valuable fishery has taken a step back.

The Pine Tree State's scallop harvest is a drop in the bucket within the worldwide scallop industry, but the state's scallops are prized in the seafood world because of their size and value. Maine scallops are also a conservation success story, as the industry declined to less than 34,000 pounds of meat before conservative management brought it back to good health.

State data say the harvest fell from more than 800,000 pounds to less than 564,000 pounds from 2017 to 2018. But officials say they aren't worried. The state uses a rotational system to control the harvest, and regulators entered last season expecting a drop.

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