Eastern Canada offshore scallop — Marine Stewardship Council
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Eastern Canada offshore scallop

Eastern Canada offshore scallopLast Updated: 6 October 2016 

MSC Status

Certified as sustainable in March 2010.
Re-certified on 30 June 2015.

Image © Clearwater Seafoods

For the assessment details, please refer to the reassessment downloads section.  For further information, contact the Conformity Assessment Body.


Species:  Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus)
Location: St Pierre Bank (Scallop Fishing Areas 10, 11, and 12); The Eastern Scotian Shelf (Scallop Fishing Area 25); Browns and German Bank (Scallop Fishing Area 26); Georges Bank (Scallop Fishing Area 27)
Fishing methods:  New Bedford scallop rake or dredge
Vessels: 12
Number of fisheries: 1

More about scallop

The scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) is found in the North Atlantic between Cape Hatteras and Labrador. It is found from just below tide level to depths of 100 m or more. Offshore commercial fisheries focus on banks found on the continental shelf which have depths less than 100 m.

Scallops are highly clumped (i.e. contagious) in their spatial distribution and occur most abundantly on gravel bottoms. Localized, dense aggregations are referred to as beds. Some beds occur sporadically while others are essentially permanent. More permanent beds appear to be in areas with suitable larval supply, temperature, current, food availability and substrate. Not all gravel bottoms support high densities of scallops.

More about the fishing methods

New Bedford scallop rake or dredge: The fishery is conducted by towing steel scallop dredge (locally known as the New Bedford rake) along the seabed. Each vessel typically employs two dredges, each varying in width from 15 -17 feet (~ 4.5 to 5.2 m).Towing speed ranges from 3 to 5.5 knots and tow duration commonly ranges from 20 to 30 minutes depending on conditions.

Fishery tonnage

In 2008 the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) was set at 6,785 tonnes and landings were 6,725 tonnes.

Commercial market

Until 2002 the offshore fleet fished primarily for fresh scallops. Thereafter, with the introduction of freezer trawlers, IQF scallops began to be landed. In recent years these vessels have accounted for nearly 60% of the landings.

By value, scallop is the third ranked species (behind lobster and crab) in Nova Scotia with a worldwide export market in 2005/06 worth $121,510,883.

Actual eligibility date

11th June 2009.


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