May 30, 2012

Good news for scallops

It's good news if you like to eat scallops!

An article in last week's Daily Press got my attention. Yum!

Is offshore Virginia truly " the most valuable wild scallop fishery in the world?" It seems that young scallops are thriving off the mid-Atlantic coast. Virginia Institute of Marine Science folks found an abundance of 2-year-old scallops in the first two of the year's five assessments of scallops. They are happily growing in "closed areas" off our shores.

So Virginia watermen can catch a good sized harvest of them in about three years. 
One survey in one closed area yielded more than 13,000 seed scallops (infant scallops, kinda like oyster spat). The experts say that anything over 100 seed scallops per tow is good, anything above 1,000 is excellent and anything above 10,000 is absolutely remarkable. No one is certain why such high numbers at this specific time.

Virginia watermen caught $70.2 million of scallops in 2010. That was 35 percent of the total value of Virginia's seafood lharvests for the year. So scallop-lovers are smiling.