PORTLAND, Maine - The federal government plans to allow scallop fishermen to catch more shellfish next year as consumer demand grows.
The New England Fishery Management Council on Wednesday approved rules for the fishing year that begins spring 2017. The rules are expected to yield about 47 million pounds of scallops.
The decision represents a slight increase from this year's rules, which are expected to allow fishermen to catch 46.9 million pounds of scallops. That was a 30 percent increase from the 36 million pounds of scallops fishermen landed in 2015.
Fishermen are expected to land more scallops in an era when price to consumers is increasing. Sea scallops were worth more than $12 per pound at the dock in 2015. They were worth a little more than half that in 2006.