Bedford’s new scallop industry talks about its rental proposal

NEW BEDFORD – The New England Fisheries Management Board held a scoping meeting Wednesday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on amending a proposed scallop fisheries management plan.

If implemented, the plan would allow scallopers to rent out portions of their days on a marine license to other boats, causing concern among small-scale fishermen and port business alike.

“She gave birth to a fisherman’s daughter and became a fisherman’s wife,” said Evelyn Sklar at the meeting. “And now I am the mother of a fisherman and the grandmother of a fisherman.

“I hope to die in peace, because this does not belong to the fishing industry.”

licensing permits

The current permit scheme entered into force in 1994 as Amendment 4 to the Scallop Fisheries Management Plan. It was intended to control access to fisheries as well as the equipment used to allow overfishing of the population.

The regulations included restrictions on equipment, duration of the fishing trip, and catches. In particular, they have created limited access areas where fishing will be monitored and restricted based on scallop populations.

These areas will be alternately opened and closed based on the health of Atlantic scallop populations, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of Science and Technology Bureau of Fisheries estimated to be 20,087 metric tons in 1994, the lowest point in the past 30 years.

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