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

BOSTON — Scallop fishing off New England will be subject to limitations for about the next 10 months, federal regulators have said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it has closed the northern Gulf of Maine fishing area, which means vessels fishing under federal regulations can’t fish for or possess scallops in the area until March 31.

The closure is necessary because of projects that the total allowable catch for the area has been spent, NOAA said.

There are exemptions for Maine and Massachusetts vessels that fish only in state waters.