Midcoast Maine Collaborative Scallop Project
In June 2013, Midcoast Maine scallop fishermen initiated discussions about implementing a small-scale closed area on Lower Muscle Ridge south of Spruce Head in western Penobscot Bay. The timing of those discussions facilitated the implementation of a three-year closure to harvesting of the Atlantic Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) in October 2013. The project team conducted baseline and follow up surveys in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to determine scallop abundance inside of the closed area and in adjacent areas. HICSL coordinates the project and partners with multiple organizations to implement this work. Partner organizations include: the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Island Institute, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Penobscot East Resource Center, and the University of Maine.
Project objectives are two-fold:
To assess the effectiveness of the small-scale closed area in rebuilding resident scallop populations (i.e. does the scallop population inside the closed area and in the adjacent control areas change over the three year period?) and
To develop a collaborative project approach and monitoring protocol that can be replicated elsewhere along the coast.
We appreciate support for this project from the Island Institute (2013), the Maine Community Foundation (2014), Davis Conservation Foundation (2015), and Patagonia (2016).