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Scallop Harvest To Decline Again This Year, But Still Strong

Fewer Scallops
Robert F. Bukaty
In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, scallop meat is shucked off a shell in Harpswell, Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine — Fishermen are harvesting fewer scallops off the East Coast as the population of the valuable shellfish appears to be on the decline.

Sea scallops are one of the most profitable resources in the Atlantic, and the U.S. fishery was worth more than $570 million at the docks in 2019. Fishermen harvested more than 60 million pounds that year.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data say fishermen harvested about 43.5 million pounds in 2020 after a projection that they would collect more than 51 million pounds. NOAA says they're expected to harvest about 40 million pounds this year.