Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Services (MAS)

Publication Date



Marine Resource Report No. 2017- 4


The focus of sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, management over the past 20 years has been to encourage the harvest of larger animals. This has been accomplished through a series of management measures including gear modifications, effort controls, crew size limitations and spatial management to protect juvenile scallops. While these measures have been effective in reducing the harvest of small scallops, their capture does still occur. Central to fully understanding the impact of the fishery on the resource, is a comprehensive estimate of the non-harvest mortality associated with commercial operations. Non-harvest mortality can be broken down into a number of different processes, with discard mortality being a major category. Discard mortality (DM) is the rate of mortality associated with animals that are captured and subsequently released due to primarily market factors. The latest stock assessment for sea scallops assumes that 20% of all animals discarded will die. There is considerable uncertainty associated with this estimate that is based on a single older tagging study and studies examining a non-Placopecten species under different biotic and abiotic conditions.



Sea scallop fishery



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