Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Marine Resource Report No. 2020-4


For the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, the concepts of space and time have emerged as the basis of an effective management tool. The strategy of closing or limiting activities in certain areas for specific lengths of time has gained support as a method to conserve and enhance the scallop resource. In the last decade, rotational area management has provided a mechanism to protect juvenile scallops from fishing mortality by closing areas based upon scallop abundance and observed age distribution. Approximately half of the sea scallop industry’s current annual landings are attributed to areas under this rotational harvest strategy. While this represents a management success, it also highlights the extent to which landings are dependent on the effective implementation of this strategy. The continued prosperity of scallop spatial management is dependent on both periodic and large incoming year classes, as well as a mechanism to delineate the scale of a recruitment event and subsequently monitor the growth and abundance of these scallops over time. Current and accurate information related to the abundance and distribution of adult and juvenile scallops is essential for managers to respond to changes in resource subunits.


doi: 10.25773/brxf-1q61


Sea scallop fishery


Award Number: NA17NMF4540029