In this Dec. 17, 2011, file photo, a scallops are seen on board a fishing boat off the coast of Harpswell. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Maine fishing regulators are shutting down some of the most important scallop fishing areas in the state for the season.

Cobscook, Whiting and Dennys bays have all been shut down, the Maine Department of Marine Resources said. Cobscook Bay is home to the most fertile scallop fishing grounds in Maine, which is home to a winter scallop harvesting industry.

Maine regulators typically shut down scallop fishing areas before the season is over to prevent overfishing and preserve the shellfish for future seasons.

Maine scallops took a dip in volume and value in 2018, the most recent year for which statistics are available. However, the fishery is in much better shape than it was a decade ago.