- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine fishing regulators are closing several areas to scallop fishing for the rest of the season.

Regulators say closures apply to Fox Islands Thoroughfare, Whiting Bay and Dennys Bay. The state Department of Marine Resources says continued harvesting in these areas could threaten the future of the scallop population locally. The department describes the shutdowns as “conservation closures.”

The state is also closing the Muscle Ridge area near South Thomaston and the western Penobscot Bay area.

Maine scallops are prized for their meat and they are in the midst of a surge in value. The scallops were valued at $12.78 per pound at the dock in 2014, a record according to state data. They typically sell for about $20 to $25 per pound to consumers.

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