The boats aren’t large, nothing like the giant steel vessels that search for scallops from southern ports like New Bedford. Cobscook Bay’s scallop fishermen go to sea throughout the winter, facing the dual threats of staggering currents and bitter cold during Maine’s scallop season, which begins in December. Rotational closures and state surveys have rebuilt the fishery from its lows in the early 2000s. Today the scallop fishery is one of the most lucrative in the state, valued at $6,777,000 in 2020. High prices in 2022 have taken many by surprise, hitting $30 or more per pound in January.
Photos by Tessa Chaffey Ftorek unless otherwise indicated