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Squeezed scallops land high prices

With her shrimp-colored outriggers and a home port of Seaford, Va., it wasn’t hard to wonder what a boat like Carolina Queen III was doing so far up north when she ran aground in a storm near Rockaway Inlet on Long Island last week.

Turns out she was chasing the nation’s most lucrative fishery: sea scallops, which, in 2014, amounted to a $400 million market.

“It’s a pretty mobile fleet,” Deirdre Boelke, the sea scallop fishery analyst for the New England Fishery Management Council, told, in explaining that the fishery spans an area from North Carolina to Maine, and that scallops prefer a depth of about 50 meters, or 150 feet.

“It wouldn’t be irregular for a Virginia boat to fish south of Long Island or off the coast of New York or New Jersey,” she added. “It’s a typical area for scallop fishing.”

Click here for the full report with photos from the grounding.