BREWER - Maine's most recent scallop season could be the strongest the state has seen in years.
While the data is still being compiled, officials with the Department of Marine Resources say December's catch numbers are promising.
This, after nearly a decade when the fishery was considered to be in a depleted state. Since then, regulators have implemented several conservation measures and other rules.
Thursday, fishermen and state officials met in Brewer to discuss ways to keep the fishery thriving. But even with a couple of successful seasons now in the books, regulators say there's more work to be done.
"We've got a pretty rigorous rebuilding plan to come," says Trisha De Graaf, a spokeswoman for the DMR. "In the eastern part of the state we're employing a rotational management plan which involves allowing some areas to be closed to help rebuild, to help kick start the resource to rebuild. So we have some difficult choices to make."
State officials credit dividing up scallop fishing zones and a rotational system for the recent success.
Some fishermen oppose the new regulations, saying it can cause over crowding of boats, among other concerns.