Atlantic Sea Scallops

Page - May 27, 2009

Greenpeace Canada Redlist

Fishery Facts

Latin Name Placopecten magellanicus

Fishing Method Scallop dredges (dragging heavy nets along the sandy seafloor) and bottom trawl.

Region of Harvest Sea scallops are harvested in the northwest Atlantic ocean from the northern shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland to the U.S. coast of North Carolina.

Other One of the most valuable fisheries.

Sea scallops (Atlantic)
Why is it on the red list?   Biology

1. Sea scallops are usually caught by dredging which causes severe damage to the seafloor habitats and species.

2. Endangered sea turtles are caught accidentally and usually thrown back dead or dying in this fishery.

3. Over 100 non-target species have been accidentally caught in the inshore scallop fishery. Bycatch of finfish (such as yellowtail flounder, skates, and monkfish) and undersized scallops are also of concern in this fishery.

Scallops can live to be over 20 years old, reaching maturity at around two years.

The largest observed sea scallop had a shell height of 23 centimetres but they are usually smaller than 17 centimetres.

Scallops feed on microscopic species called phytoplankton and microzooplankton that they filter out of the water.

Fish such as cod, flounder, crabs, lobster and sea stars feed on young and adult scallops.