A person is holding mussels. Credit: Joel Lusk | AP

A regulatory board is allowing shellfish harvesting in a key management area off of New England, though more monitoring of the fishery will now apply.

The New England Fishery Management Council has approved new measures to allow the harvest of surfclams within the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area. The council says mussel fishermen will also be able to operate in the new areas.

The council says it wants fishermen and researchers to work together to get a better idea of where surfclams can be harvested without disturbing sensitive undersea habitat.

The Great South Channel is southeast of Cape Cod. Massachusetts fishermen are major producers of both surfclams and mussels on the East Coast. Maine also harvests a significant number of mussels, and New Jersey has a major harvest of surfclams.