America’s harvest of scallops is increasing to near-record levels at a time when the shellfish are in high demand and the value of the fishery has surged in recent years.
Sea scallops, harvested mostly by boats from the cold Atlantic Ocean, are the target of one of the most valuable fisheries in America. New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the harvest topped 58.2 million pounds last year, the highest total since 2011 and the fifth-highest in history, according to federal statistics going back to 1945.
YouTube video: Maine Coast Fishermen | Alex Todd is a 10th generation fisherman from Chebeague Island, Maine and he agreed to let MCFA and Knack Factory tag along for a scallop trip
The availability of scallops for consumers hasn’t changed much as the U.S. harvest has long been supplemented by foreign sources. Prices to consumers have also held about steady.
The value of the fishery itself, though, is rising. American scallops were worth USD 532.9 million at the docks last year. That’s the third-highest figure on record and more than USD 100 million higher than the 2014 total.
The price U.S. fishermen receive for their scallops at the dock has fallen somewhat in the last couple of years, though they remain a premium product for consumers, who typically pay USD 18 to USD 22 per pound for them.
Source: Patrick Whittle (AP)/bangordailynews.com | Read full article here