Feds looking into health of scallops in the Atlantic

Scallops Prices_1525025269413

FILE – In this Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, scallop meat is shucked at sea off Harpswell, Maine. Scallop prices could plunge in 2018 because fishermen are on track to harvest a high number and imports are up. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Federal regulators are reviewing the health of sea scallops in the Atlantic Ocean to get a better handle on the status of the valuable shellfish.

Sea scallops are among the most valuable wild-harvested seafood products in the U.S. They were worth more than $485 million at the docks in 2016, a year in which fishermen harvested more than 40 million pounds of them.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes the assessment as a “scientifically rigorous review.” It will help inform future fishing regulations in the sea scallop fishery. The agency says assessment results will be available in July.

Sea scallops come to shore from Maine to Virginia. Massachusetts is the most productive state. More than half of America’s sea scallops came to land in Massachusetts in 2016.

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