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Maine Panel Approves 2014-15 Scallop Rules

PORTLAND, Maine - A key Maine advisory council is approving the rules for the state's forthcoming scallop fishing season.

The state Department of Marine Resources said Wednesday that the council signed off on proposed rules for the season. The rules call for the season to last from Dec. 1 to April 11. Zones one and two will have a 70-day season while zone three will have a 50-day season. Zone three includes scallop-rich Cobscook Bay.

The rules also include numerous closures. There will be a "trigger mechanism'' that allows the commissioner to close harvesting for the rest of the season if more than 30 percent of harvestable scallops are removed.

The state is using the rules to rebuild the fishery. Fishermen caught 424,547 pounds of scallops in 2013, the most since 2000.