The Cape’s Scallopers Ride Out a Perfect Storm

This summer, a perfect storm combining sky-high fuel costs, a scarcity of experienced crew members, low wholesale prices, sharp declines in what scallop fishermen are allowed to take, and costly quota, has been keeping Cape Cod’s small-boat scallopers off the water. “There are a quite a few changing over to do other kinds of fishing because they can’t afford to go scalloping right now,” said Max Nolan, a scalloper from Eastham who owns the F/V Outlaw. “I don’t know how anyone is making it,” said Chris Merl, a Wellfleet scalloper and captain of the F/V Isabel & Lilee. Atlantic scalloping, which stretches from the waters of Maine to North Carolina, is one of the most lucrative fisheries in the nation, with its yearly catch valued at upwards of $500 million. But this year (the fishing year begins in April and ends in March), regulators have dropped the total amount of scallops boats are allowed to harvest to its lowest level in over a decade, and the limit stands at just 41 percent of what it was in 2019. >click to read< 08:55

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