Whitesburg KY

Scallop prices may fall

Good news for scallop fans. Already one of the most readily available higher-priced seafoods to consumers, the succulent shellfish could fall in price this year.

American harvests of scallops have grown in recent years, from 33.8 million pounds in 2014 to 40.5 million pounds in 2016, and are poised to go up again in 2018 because of a potential increase in the amount fishermen are allowed to bring to shore and an increase in imports.

Some members of the seafood industry say it could be a recipe for the price of the shellfish to fall for consumers, who sometimes pay more than $20 per pound at supermarkets.

Consumers could start to see that price drop in restaurants and grocery stores this year.

2018 has a chance to be only the third time since 1950 in which U.S. scallop harvesters — who dredge for scallops off places like Maine and Nantucket island in Massachusetts — collect more than 60 million pounds of the shellfish, Handy said. That most recently happened in 2006. The price of scallops in the U.S. will likely be affected by this year’s imports and exports, which are hard to predict, he said.

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