RASS Records

King Scallop in ICES sub area VII, Scallop dredge

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Content Last Updated
24 February 2019

King scallops (here after referred to as ‘scallop’ 1) are filter-feeding bivalve molluscs that prefer mixed sediments consisting of muddy sand, sandy gravel or gravel, possibly interspersed with small stones, rocks, boulders and low-lying reef from extreme low-water down to 100m+.  Most individuals are found between 20-70m and, being highly-adapted filter feeders, they prefer moderately strong tidal flows and reduced exposure to strong wave action. They feed on suspended phytoplankton, algae and other micro-organisms that arrive through the water column (Brand, 1991). Their asymmetrical shells – the right valve is convex – allow them to nestle securely in to softer sediments as they create a recess for their cup-shaped shells. They lie stationary and slightly open on the seabed, filtering the water that passes over their gills. The animals can swim using water jets ejected around the hinge of the shell and use this unusual movement as an ‘escape’ strategy. After an initial phase in the plankton adult scallops are considered to be relatively sedentary (Marshall and Wilson, 2009). Scallops are hermaphrodites (i.e. both male and female) and can become reproductively mature at about 3 years old (approx. 60mm to 90mm in shell length; see Figure 1).

Figure 2. Distribution of king scallops (Pecten maximus) in Atlantic waters (Source: Oceana) Minchin, D., (2003). Introductions: some biological and ecological characteristics of scallops. Aquatic Living Resources, 51, 509-580. MMO 2015. UK Sea fisheries statistics 2014. Marine Management Organisation, 175 pp. Orensanz, J.M., et al (2006). Dynamics, assessment and management of exploited natural populations, in Scallops: Biology, Ecology and Aquaculture: 765-868 Marine Management Organisation Annual Fisheries Statistics for 2012     1 King scallop (Pecten maximus) are referred to in this text as scallop in order to distinguished them from the queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) commonly referred to as ‘queenies’.

Scallop stocks in ICES division VII has been has been scored as moderate risk. This is because the vulnerability score is 26 of 100 (www.sealifebase.org), and stock status is largely unknown.

There are no formal assessments of scallop populations in England so the status of the stocks in ICES division VII can only be inferred from commercial fishery data. Scallop fishing is far more widespread across the area than was the case in the early years of the fishery, with significant catches being made out in the western approaches. This suggests that some of the increase in landings has been due to expansion of the area fished.

The management of Scallop stocks in ICES division VII has been scored a moderate risk. The fishery is comprised of many smaller units of fisheries, and we have taken an average view of these (see below) to generate this overall risk score. Finer detail for each specific fishery will be needed to generate more specific risk assessments at that finer level of detail.

The bycatch risk of this fishery has been scored a high risk. This is because of the potential of the gear to generate significant bycatch and associated damage. Whilst fin-fish bycatch levels can be relatively low, incidental mortality (i.e. organisms interacting with the gear but not being retained) can be high depending upon the substrate being fished.

The habitat risk of this fishery has been scored high risk. This is because of the potential of the gear to cause significant habitat damage. The Newhaven Dredges used on most UK scallop boats are heavy dredges that can cause notable habitat damage.

Nutrition information from 100g raw product

Rich in:
Vitamin B12
Good Source Of:
69 (kcal)
0.5 (g)
0.1 (g)
0 (g)
1 (g)