Key US shellfish quotas will remain the same next year

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A couple of the most significant fisheries for shellfish on the East Coast will have the same catch quotas next year.

Fishermen harvest surf clams and ocean quahogs from the Atlantic Ocean every year for use in chowders, fried clam dinners and other popular seafood dishes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the quota for the two species will be unchanged in the new fishing year that begins on Jan. 1.

The quota will be 5.33 million bushels for ocean quahogs and 3.4 million bushels for surf clams. The quota for Maine ocean quahogs will be limited to 100,000 Maine bushels, which is also the same as the current year.

The two fisheries are worth tens of millions of dollars combined at the docks every year.