Maine's Scallop season opened December 2, 2013, and shortly after the first scallops appeared on dinner plates the fishery was certified "sustainable" in accordance with the Marine Stewardship Council's standards for sustainable, well-managed fisheries. You can read more about this decision here.
This certification was granted despite an objection filed by Togue Brawn of Maine Dayboat Scallops, Inc., with the support of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. The objection is in response to a management loophole that exempts the Northern Gulf of Maine management area from regulations aimed at rebuilding and protecting the scallop resource. The objection argues that the management area has no real measures to prevent overfishing, which could make the "sustainable" designation for the whole fishery artificial and short-sighted.
The state's scallop fishery is managed by the Department of Marine Resources, which is a great source of information if you want to learn more about how the fishery works.
If you are interested in different fisheries that may or may not be "ocean-friendly" you can check out Seafood Watch, a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium that makes purchasing recommendations for different species of fish and shellfish.
Do you think the scallop fishery is sustainable? Does the sustainability of a fishery affect your decision to consume different types of seafood? Post your comments!