PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Fishing regulators are starting the process of changing the way the East Coast scallop fishery is managed, with an eye toward avoiding more conflicts between small and big boat fishermen.
The New England Fishery Management Council decided to initiate changes on Tuesday. Small boats have been in conflict with big boats in the northern Gulf of Maine in recent months.
Government fishing regulators use different rules for the small- and big-boat fisheries, though they work overlapping areas. Some fishermen in the small-boat fishery say the rules allow bigger boats to overexploit scallops, which are the subject of one of the most valuable fisheries in America. Bigger boats say the two can co-exist.
Federal regulators shut down the northern Gulf of Maine last month amid the conflict.