The question of what is a harvestable sized bay scallop will be the subject of a public hearing next week on the Cape. The state Division of Marine Fisheries is hosting the hearing at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 to gather input, following emergency action they took last fall to quiet a dispute between fishermen and regulators.

The hearing will take place at the Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Road, Route 28 in Hyannis.

Last fall a dispute arose on Nantucket over what was a harvestable size bay scallop. Fishermen kept finding large bay scallops in the harbor without a sufficiently large enough growth ring to suggest that they were adult bay scallops. Edgartown had a similar problem years ago and the state came down to make a different ruling.

This time, the state established a minimum size of two-inch shell height for bay scallops with a well-defined growth ring measuring less than 10 mm from the shell hinge. They are seeking public comment on the measure.

Written comments can be sent to the state no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 7. You may e-mail to, fax to 617-626-1509, or post to 251 Causeway street, Suite 400; Boston, MA 02114.