Maine fishery regulators are preparing to hold a series of public hearings about a plan to cut back the number of scallop fishing days in the coming season a hearing on a plan to close an area to sea urchin fishing so they can gauge a project that would transplant the creatures..

The scallop proposal would cut back the number of fishing days in the southern scalloping zone from 70 to 60 days. The scallop hearings will be held on Tuesday in Augusta, on Wednesday in Ellsworth and on Thursday in Machias.

The Midcoast and eastern Maine zone would have 70 days, the same as last year. The far eastern zone, which includes scallop-rich Cobscook Bay, would remain at 50 days.

The proposal says the upcoming scallop fishing season would begin in early December and end in mid-April.

Maine scallops were worth almost $7.5 million last year. That is the most since 1993.

A proposed new regulation would close sea urchin harvesting in the Cat Ledges area off of Southport until May 1, 2018. The state says the transplant is a means of re-establishing a colony of “commercially viable urchins” in an area that formerly supported a wild harvest.

The sea urchin hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Augusta. The state is also accepting public comment until Sept. 27.

State officials say the transplant is planned for this fall and work has begun on the project.

Maine urchins are harvested commercially because their roe is used in food.

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