NEW BEDFORD — Eight congressmen led by Rep. William Keating have written to fisheries managers asking for a close look at the effects of reopening some areas closed to scallopers for 209 years.

Keating, along with Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, all D-Mass., wrote that the northern edge of Georges Bank has an estimated 30 million pounds of harvestable scallops, worth $300 million at today's prices.

"Being able to open that area, and others like it, while protecting groundfish habitats would be a great benefit for fishing communities in New England," they wrote.

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