A New Harvest: Sea Scallop Enhancement and....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA66FD0023           NMFS NUMBER:  95-NER-113

REPORT TITLE:  A New Harvest: Sea Scallop Enhancement and Culture in New England

AUTHOR: Susan Kuenstner

PUBLISH DATE:  June 1998

AVAILABLE FROM:  National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.  TELEPHONE:  (508) 281-9267


The overall objective of this project was to demonstrate a viable fishery based on harvesting scallop spat, and the subsequent grow-out of juvenile scallops to harvest size.   Spat collection gear was deployed during two settlement periods, at four sites, including Georges Bank, Portsmouth, Truro, and Wellfleet. Very few scallop spat were harvested in 1966, and it appears that spat settlement was particularly bad throughout New England that year.  In 1997, small numbers of scallops were captured in Truro (avg. II spat/bag), however, growth rate of spat was very high (avg. 2.58 mm/month). A greater quantity of spat were collected from Georges Bank (avg. 240 spat/bag).  However, none of the Georges Bank spat contained tissue, indicating that the animals had died before the bags were retrieved, possibly through predation. Studies in Portsmouth to test the hypotheses that spat collection activities enhance the natural set were inconclusive since no spat were found, either directly beneath bags or in an area devoid of bags. A devise to quickly separate spat by size and/or form other organisms was designed and built. Juvenile scallops (initial size approx. 25 mm) were transplanted to three grow-out areas; Portsmouth (pearl nets and benthic cages), Truro (benthic cages), and Chatman (upwellers). Average growth rates ranged from 5.53 mm/month in Truro, to 2.0 mm/month in Portsmouth. No statistical difference in growth or mortality was observed between the Portsmouth scallops in suspension and those in benthic cages. On a cost per scallop basis, Truro was the least expensive grow-out site to manage ($0.19/scallop). The upwellers in Chatman were the most expensive ($1.27/scallop) due to the cost of electricity to run the pumps. The break even point for spat collection was also calculated and found to be 76 spat/bag.

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