Last Updated: 26 April 2016
Certified as sustainable in December 2006
Re-certified in April 2012
Species: Patagonian scallop or Vieira patagónica (Zygochlamys patagonica)
Location: Within the Argentine continental shelf in waters approximately 60 to 120 m deep between the northern boundary with Uruguay and a line drawn between the Falkland Islands and Tierra del Fuego in the south.
Fishing methods: Benthic Otter trawl Net
Vessels: Four vessels 45–59 metres long
Number of fisheries: 1
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More about Patagonia scallop
Patagonian scallops live at depths of 40-200 metres and inhabit soft bottom, mainly muddy-sandy substrates. Sexes are separate and sexual maturity is reached at 45 mm shell height, at approximately two years of age. The legal commercial size is 55 mm.
More about the fishing methods
The fishing method utilised consists of two trawl nets that operate on each side of the vessel. The gear has a total length of 13 metres. The mouth of the net is held open by two large "doors" which are attached to either side of the net. The net is constructed of 6 mm polypropylene twine and has a 10 cm mesh size. The average towing time is about 15 minutes and the catch is processed mechanically on board. The by-catch and non-commercial size scallops are separated by drums and returned to the sea during the first 5 minutes after the haul is finished.
Approximately 50% of the frozen-at-sea scallops are sold into European markets; an additional 40% is sold into US. Most of the remainder are sold to Canadian markets.