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Scallopers may offer yellowtail relief to NE fleet

May 14, 2012 • Business


FILE – This Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006 file photo shows tubs filled with mostly yellow tail flounder from a day’s catch being off-loaded at the dock in Gloucester, Mass. Scallopers inevitably snare yellowtail by accident. So regulators trying to protect the struggling species give them a yearly catch quota they can’t exceed. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File)

BOSTON (AP) — New England fishermen looking for relief after a debilitating cut in the yellowtail flounder catch may soon find help from the booming scallop industry.

Scallopers inevitably snare yellowtail by accident. So regulators trying to protect the struggling species give them a yearly catch quota they can’t exceed. But the scallop industry works hard to avoid yellowtail. If they catch below their yellowtail quota, they can transfer what’s left over to a fishing industry desperate for it.

This year, there are indications they can shift hundreds of thousands of pounds of unneeded quota in the Georges Bank fishing grounds to fishermen.

No matter how much the scallop fleet can transfer, fishermen won’t escape major pain from the huge Georges Bank yellowtail cut enacted May 1, said Maine fisherman Jim Odlin.

Still, there’s no doubt fishermen need the extra fish, he said.

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