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Sea scallop harvest declines

Fishermen harvested more than 60 million pounds of the valuable shellfish in 2019 but only harvested 43.5 million pounds in 2020.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2011 file photo, scallop meat is shucked at sea on opening day off Harpswell, Maine. The state's scallop fishermen are looking at another year of conservative management in 2018, and members of the industry said that could be the best way to make sure the fishery continues rebuilding. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

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.