Building upon the 2007-2009 DEI study, this research project examined methods to enhance the wild sea scallop fishery in eastern Maine through the culture and wild collection of scallop juveniles, intermediate grow-out methods, predator prevention and control, and environmental protection and [...]
– Research –
Through the years, DEI has conducted research on sea scallops, Placopecten magellanicus, in the hatchery and in the field and raised cultured scallops in the hatchery.
DEI’s hatchery has a specially built Boreal Culture Room for the conditioning of broodstock and rearing larvae and juveniles of colder climate species. Replaced during the expansion of 2018, the original Boreal Culture Room was constructed in 2010 for sea scallops. The room keeps seawater temperature below 50oF (10oC). The first project involved collecting wild sea scallop juveniles, and was initiated in August 2010.
Typically, sea scallops spawn in the late summer or early fall. Sometimes, it is not possible to collect well-conditioned broodstock from the wild. Therefore, DEI developed a regimen of feeding adult scallops with several species of cultured microalgae and, with decreasing and gradually increasing seawater temperatures, DEI was successful in getting sea scallops to spawn just about any time of year.
Scallop larvae typically take between 25-35 days to metamorphose and become juveniles.
Left: a 20 day old scallop with a fully-developed larval shell and a full gut of digested cultured microalgae (photo taken on Dec. 29 by Kyle Pepperman).
Right: Recently metamorphosed sea scallop juveniles. Animals are around 200 microns in shell length. Photo taken by Kyle Pepperman.