The shell has a classic form, with smooth shell and egdes, unlike Pecten maximus (common name the "great scallop" or "king scallop") which has flutes and scalloped edges; size is around 80 mm, with individuals up to 170 mm in diameter. The shell is generally pinkish-red in color, with striped variegation to darker shades appearing in many individuals. The adductor muscle itself is large, often 30–40 mm in diameter. Like all scallops, P. magellanicus has photoreceptive eyes along the edge of the pinkish mantle.
Range and habitat
Sea scallops typically occur at depths ranging from 18–110 m, but may also occur in waters as shallow as 2 m in estuaries and embayments along the Maine coast and in Canada. In southern areas, scallops are primarily found at depths between 45 and 75 m, and are less common in shallower water (25–45 m) due to high temperature. Although sea scallops are not common at depths greater than about 110 m, some populations have been found as deep as 384 m, and deep-water populations at 170–180 m have been reported in the Gulf of Maine. Sea scallops often occur in aggregations called beds. Beds may be sporadic (perhaps lasting for a few years) or essentially permanent (e.g., commercial beds supporting the Georges Bank fishery). The highest concentration of many permanent beds appears to correspond to areas of suitable temperatures, food availability, substrate, and where physical oceanographic features such as fronts and gyres may keep larval stages in the vicinity of the spawning population.
Adult sea scallops are generally found on firm sand, gravel, shells, and rock. Other invertebrates associated with scallop beds include sponges, hydroids, anemones, bryozoans, polychaetes, mussels, moon snails, whelks, amphipods, crabs, lobsters, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and tunicates.
Sustainability of fishery
According to NOAA, the Atlantic sea scallop fishery is healthy, and is harvested at sustainable levels. The sea scallop fishery is the largest wild scallop fishery in the world. In 2008, 53.5 million pounds of sea scallop meats worth $370 million were harvested in the United States. Massachusetts and New Jersey are responsible for the majority of the U.S. harvest. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch lists sea scallops as a "Good Alternative," its second best rating.
- Barucca M, Olmo E, Schiaparelli S, Canapa A (2004) Molecular phylogeny of the family Pectinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia)
- Mullen, D.M., and J.R. Moring. 1986. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requi rernents of coastal fishes and invertebrates (North Atlantic) -- sea scallop. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv. Biol. Rep. 82(11.67). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TR EL- 82-4. 13 pp.
- NOAA (2004). Sea Scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, Life History and Habitat Characteristics (2 ed.). U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE. pp. 1â6. Retrieved 08/11/10.
- Atlantic sea scallop NOAA FishWatch. Retrieved 11 November 2012.