How Are Scallops Harvested in Maine?

how are scallops harvested

Scallops, with their delicate texture and sweet flavor, are a prized seafood delicacy that many seafood enthusiasts adore. If you’re curious about the question, “How are scallops harvested in Maine?” you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll explore the seasonality of these delectable bivalves and the methods employed by local fishermen.

Seasonality of Maine Scallops

Maine scallop season can vary slightly from year to year, but it typically starts in early December and extends through March. During this time, scallop fishermen take to the waters in search of the succulent bivalves. It’s worth mentioning that the seasonality can vary based on regulations and conservation efforts implemented by authorities to ensure the sustainability of the scallop population.

Scallop Harvesting Methods

Maine fishermen employ two primary methods for harvesting scallops: dragging and hand diving. Let’s take a closer look at each method:


Dragging is the most common method used to harvest scallops in Maine. Dayboat trawlers equipped with dredge gear are utilized for this purpose. The fishing vessel drags a metal frame covered with a net along the ocean floor, gently collecting scallops in its path. Turtle deflectors are often employed to minimize the capture of non-target species and protect marine life.

The dragged scallops are then brought onboard, where they are carefully sorted and processed. The shells are opened, and the adductor muscle, which is the edible part of the scallop, is extracted. The scallops are then cleaned, packed, and prepared for distribution to markets, restaurants, and seafood suppliers.

Hand Diving

Hand diving, also known as diving or diving for scallops, involves individual fishermen manually gathering scallops from the ocean floor. This method requires skilled divers who can navigate the underwater environment and locate scallops hidden in the seabed.

Hand diving is often restricted to specific areas or seasons to ensure sustainable harvesting practices. By limiting the impact of hand diving on the scallop populations, authorities help maintain healthy stocks for future harvests.

The Significance of Sustainable Scallop Harvesting

Sustainability is a crucial consideration in the harvesting of scallops. To protect the scallop populations and the overall health of the marine ecosystem, Maine imposes strict regulations on scallop fishing. These regulations include limits on catch size, quotas, and restrictions on fishing areas and seasons. By implementing these measures, Maine strives to ensure the long-term viability of its scallop fisheries.

Order Fresh Maine Scallops from Klenda Seafood

Maine scallops are harvested using methods such as dragging and hand diving. These techniques, combined with strict regulations and seasonal considerations, ensure the sustainable management of scallop fisheries in Maine. By choosing reputable seafood suppliers like Klenda Seafood, you can enjoy the fresh and delectable taste of Maine scallops while supporting responsible fishing practices. Shop our fresh Maine seafood here!