Three years ago, the Nantucket bay scallop harvest suddenly more than doubled in size, from around 15,000 bushels to more than 32,000. It was the year the industry ate its future.
The following season the harvest crashed. The total catch in 2005-06 was one-sixth as large — just 5,500 bushels. It was even worse last season, when fewer than 4,000 bushels were hauled up, the lowest tally since they began keeping records 30 years earlier.