HALLOWELL — The state Department of Marine Resources has shut down parts of eastern Maine’s Cobscook Bay to scallop fishing because fishermen reported small scallops and large quantities of scallops sustaining damage under heavy fishing pressure.

Acting Commissioner Patrick Keliher on Friday enacted an emergency closure of the East and South bays in Cobscook Bay effective Monday. Keliher said that by leaving a portion of Cobscook Bay open to scallop fishing, he is trying to strike a balance between protecting the scallop stocks and giving fishermen some opportunities for the rest of the season.

Scallop season opened Dec. 17 and continues through March.

Scallop populations throughout Maine waters are at low levels, which prompted regulators to close 20 percent of the coast to scallop fishing two years ago.


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