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Lawmakers want to know how NOAA will address scallop scuffle

PORTLAND, Maine — Two lawmakers from Maine want to know what the Silver Spring-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is doing to address trouble in the Atlantic scallop fishing industry.

U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, say NOAA should work to ensure sustainability in the high-value fishery.

A disagreement over the right to fish for the scallops has recently pitted small boats against big boats in the northern Gulf of Maine, a key fishing area. The federal government maintains different rules for the small- and big-boat fisheries, though they work some common areas.

Pingree and King say they’ve heard concerns that the scallops are being overfished. They sent a letter to NOAA saying they’re concerned that an emergency action doesn’t seem to be on the table.