Certifier : 
SCS Global Services
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
19 Dec 2013
Certificate expires : 
25 Nov 2023

About

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)