Certifier : 
MRAG Americas, Inc.
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
19 Dec 2013
Certificate expires : 
24 May 2024

Overview

Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.

When the term “Unit of Certification” is used for fishing units that are in assessment, it refers to the “Unit of Assessment” or “Unit of potential certification”. Expand a status below to view the parts that form this fishery. To check the detailed scope, download the latest certificate or open the Assessments page to get the latest report. Find out more by visiting our page on Fisheries

Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • Certified
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Certificate Code
    UoC-0410 Atlantic scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) Dredges - Boat dredges 21 (Atlantic, Northwest) MSC-F-31409 (F-SCS-0112)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
Atlantic scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) 2020 19,731

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

This fishery extends from Maine down to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and was certified in 2013. 348 vessels are involved, using New Bedford dredges.

The Atlantic sea scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) is a large scallop that commonly reaches 100 to 150mm shell height, with individuals larger than 200mm occasionally reported. Fecundity is high, with females producing 1-270 million eggs per individual, increasing rapidly with shell height. Spawning in US waters generally occurs as a single peak in late summer or early autumn (August to October). 

The New Bedford scallop dredge is one of the sturdiest and heaviest in operation, and has changed very little since it was first introduced. Essentially it consists of a heavy metal frame and a steel mesh bag to retain the scallops. The lower side of the bag, that comes in contact with the seabed, and the rear portion of the top side, is constructed of a mesh of steel rings that allows small scallops, bycatch and bottom debris to escape, while the front section of the top of the bag is a panel of large-mesh twine netting though which fish can escape. Since 2005, the legal minimum ring size has been increased to 4 inches to increase yield-per-recruit, and the minimum twine top mesh increased to 10 inches to reduce fish bycatch. 

US Atlantic sea scallops image © American Scallop Association (ASA)

Market Information

26,000 tonnes are harvested annually, destined for the US domestic market and the European Union.