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Sea Scallop

Stock Assessment Q&A

How is the health of the sea scallop stock?

Scallops are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The sea scallop stock is a healthy population and has grown since the mid-1990s. After the 2015 assessment, biomass was roughly one and a half ties the target population. The sea scallop stock consists of a healthy population that has experienced growth since the mid-1990s.

Are any new data evaluated in this assessment?

Scientists will consider:

  • Landings, recruitment, and biomass
  • The drivers of natural mortality within the scallop populations
  • Gulf of Maine scallop stock information
  • Data collected by a strategic partnership with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to survey the Mid-Atlantic Bight

What is a ‘HabCam’?

A ‘HabCam’ is a habitat mapping camera system. This camera is towed by the federal survey vessel at the same time as the scallop dredge. It’s towed a 5 knots approximately 2 meters from the sea floor. Developed by scientists, engineers, and fishermen, this camera provides a better picture of scallops on the sea floor.

This camera has allowed scientists at the NEFSC to better understand how effectively our dredge is targeting scallops. It has also allowed us to see the scallop populations inside and outside the closed areas. We have used data from the HabCam in the scallop assessments since 2012, and will continue to do so during this assessment.

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