Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Reports in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE) No. 237


Bushel samples of sea scallops (Placopecten Uagellanicus) for height-frequency analysis were obtained aboard the colUIIlercial scalloper, VIRGINIA SURF, from the mid-Atlantic region on two trips during the summer of 1979. Fishing effort was concentrated in three areas of the shelf: 1) Sixty miles east of the Virginia-North Carolina border, 2) Seventy miles east of the coast from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and 3) Forty-five miles south of Long Island from Moriches Bay to Bridgehampton. Individuals (212) were retained for age analysis from the catches of the two northern areas. The mean size of scallops caught in the southern region of the mid-Atlantic was smaller than in the north. Ninety percent of the southern scallops measured were between 75-119 mm shell height with a peak occurring at between 95-99 mm. A peak in height-frequency for the two northern samples occurred at 110-114 mm and ninety percent of the scallops measured ranged between 95-134 mm. Most of the scallops represented by the peak in the southern samples are of the 1975 year class, while the northern sample peak is composed of the 1972-1974 year classes. Smaller, younger scallops appeared more frequently in the southern area, possibly indicating more successful recruitment since 1975 than in the northern areas sampled. Catch per unit of effort (pounds per paired 15-foot dredge tow) was higher in the southern (41.3) than either of the two northern areas (20 and 30.8, respectively).



Fisheries, Scallops, Virginia, North Carolina