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Scallop Restoration Project

Jonesport/Beals, ME

In May 2007, DEI began a collaborative, two-year field test with Jonesport and Beals Island scallopers.  With funding from the Northeast Consortium, DEI, the University of Maine Sea Grant Extension, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources studied the effectiveness of managing the scallop fishery using closed areas that are enhanced with wild scallops.  Two local 1-km2 scallop grounds that lacked commercial quantities of scallops were closed by rule-making to all forms of dragging and diving for a 3-year period.  Project staff and participating fishermen then examined the effect of two different methods of holding wild scallops prior to seeding them into bottom plots at each of the closed areas.  The fishermen dragged scallops from a commercial ground near Roque Island, and transported them the same day to the sites near Sheep Island (Eastern Bay) and Moosabec Reach.  Divers assessed the bottom plots on Days 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, and 30.  Other field tests were conducted during the fall and winter to determine if it is possible to collect wild scallop spat using collectors similar to those that have been used with great success in Canada, Chile, and Japan. (See Final Report)

Top row:  Scallops collected by drags on May 7, 2007 were held on board commercial scallop boats either in dry, moist fish totes or, as these photos show, in flow-through Xactic boxes.

Lower left panels:  Scallop boats (left owned by Ernest Kelley, Jr., right owned by Maurice Alley) in Moosabec Reach preparing bottom plots to receive wild scallops.  Divers holding a 1-m2 quadrant preparing to dive on one of eight bottom plots near Sheep Island in the Eastern Bay. 

Lower middle panels:  Diver surfacing after sampling a bottom plot for the presence of seeded scallops at the Moosabec Reach study site.  Scallop boat, Bossy Lady.

Lower right panel:  Final sampling date on June 10, 2007.  Scallops that were counted in each quadrant were brought to the surface where each was measured.  This allowed project staff to determine how much shell growth had occurred over the 30-day trial.  Scallop recovery after 30 days was excellent with low mortality (< 5%) and, surprisingly, little migration from the bottom plots. 

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