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Atlantic sea scallops are found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council manage the Atlantic sea scallop fishery. The Atlantic sea scallop population are above the target population level.
Managers determine a total allowable catch for the scallop fishery based on estimates of the scallop population. They allocate this catch amount to different groups of the fishery, depending on their permit type and historical catch, through days-at-sea and number of trips to special access areas.
Other management measures include:
- Limits on crew size.
- Areas closed to scallop dredging to allow young scallops to grow large and reproduce, and to reduce bycatch of non-targeted species.
- Vessels harvesting scallops must use vessel monitoring systems (a satellite communications system used to monitor fishing activities).
- Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs), a type of catch share program, for Limited Access General Category permit holders.