Sea Scallop Enhancement and Sustainable Harvesting
Westport Scalloping Corporation
December 1, 1998
National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region, One
Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298. TELEPHONE:
Project has been a three year effort to demonstrate sea
scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, resource enhancement
off the coast of Massachusetts fishing industry base by
developing (1) means to transport scallops live, (2) methods
to grow-out transplanted scallops on the bottom and in
the water column, (3) criteria for managing scallop grow-out
areas, and (4) means to identify potential grow-out areas.
The emphasis was to develop and demonstrate the technology
to enhance sea scallop production, on a sustainable and
environmentally sound basis, using the existing New England
fishing industry and infrastructure. Seastead is a collaboration
between scientists and the sea scallop fishing industry
to examine potential scallop enhancement/production strategies.
After 30 months of effort all required permits had been
secured for the first aquaculture research area in U.S.
federal waters. The twenty-four square-kilometer area
is located 15 kilometers south of Marthas Vineyard,
Massachusetts, USA and is now closed to mobile gear and
dedicated to researching culture and enhancement strategies.
The site is in an open ocean location subject to large
waves and strong currents. The site has been stocked with
wild-caught scallops. Approximately 40,000 scallops, ranging
in shell height from 40-100 mm, were placed in bottom
cages, suspended nets, and loose on the bottom in 1997.
The scallops were monitored for growth and mortality.
In 1998, an additional 80,000 scallops, ranging inshell
height from 50-140mm, were direct seeded on the bottom.
The scallops seeded on the bottom were monitored using
an underwater video camera sled. The scallops in the cages
were hauled and measured. Sub-samples of all groups of
scallops were evaluated for health and condition at times
during the project. Data was collected to allow for an
economic analysis of the culture strategies.