At the height of the pandemic last spring, the price of scallops dropped by 30-percent in New Bedford. Prices have since stabilized since new consumers arise.  

Dan Eilertsen, who has been a scalloper since the early 1970s, said that the pandemic has been a wake up call for him because he was forced to reach out to a new consumer base: at-home cooks.  

“We've elevated the sales and found ways to educate the public,” Eilertsen said. “Now we have different avenues of how to get rid of scallops and how to sell scallops and so that actually helped the market out.”

Due to the pandemic, some fishing crews waited to go fishing this spring when scallops are at their largest size. Eilertsen didn’t do this and now, he said, those fishermen have to go out during a season where scallops are much smaller. It makes them have to work twice as hard to get the same amount of product.  

“The whole fleet was waiting because of the pandemic early on in the spring, which a lot of them did. Now, they're doing okay, because the scallop price rebounded, that was good,” Eilersten said. “So they still get their weight, but they're going to have to take that many more animals to get it and that's what hurts the resource.”

The official figures on scallop landings have not been released yet, the findings are expected by the end of the month. It is expected that fishermen will need to limit their catch next year in order to protect the species.


Kira Bruce is the South Coast Bureau intern for The Public's Radio.