Atlantic Bay Scallop
(Argopecten irradians)

Size:
Length - Maximum of approx. 3 – 4 inches
Weight - Maximum of approx. 1 – 2 oz.

Range:
Atlantic bay scallops are found along the east coast of North America from Cape Cod to the Gulf of Mexico.

Habitat:
Bay scallops are most frequently found in shallow coastal bays and estuaries. They prefer loose sandy or muddy substrate and sea grass beds.

Diet:
Bay scallops are filter-feeders, which siphon small marine plankton suspended in the water column for sustenance.

Life History:
Bay scallops have the ability to develop both male and female sexual organs, producing both sperm and eggs. Once a bay scallop is fully developed, the majority of its energy budget is allocated for sexual reproduction. Bay scallops spawn upon the shift to cooler water temperatures in the beginning of the fall season. Although scallops are highly fecund and can produce millions of eggs at once, only a small fraction of these eggs will survive to adulthood.

Importance to Fisheries and Aquaculture:
The Atlantic bay scallop provides a great deal of enjoyment to recreational fishermen and substantial economic benefits to the commercial fishing sector. Further development of bay scallop production under aquaculture may provide additional benefits to Gulf Coast economies.

Fun Fact:
Adult bay scallops have the ability to swim across the sea floor by constricting their adductor muscle, opening and closing the shell, and generating propulsion.