Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-463.
The goals of this project were to: 1. Investigate innovative bay scallop culture technologies to reduce production costs; 2. Compare two live bay scallop packing/shipping systems to extend shelf life; and 3. Develop marketing/educational materials to educate restaurants and customers about bay scallop aquaculture and shellfish aquaculture;
Six materials were tested to determine their suitability as a substrate for scallop seed to attach to before stocking into cages. Once the scallop seed was large enough, it was stocked in cages at different seasonal intervals to investigate any difference in growth, survival, or fouling during their growth period. For marketing purposes, two packing/shipping systems were compared – one in which live scallops were kept in a bucket, the other an insulated box system using apple trays with depressions and Drylok pads to keep the scallops moist. The educational materials component involved the design and printing of “doggie bags” with information about scallop production and ways to use scallop shells.
Rob found that Handiwipes and burlap were the best substrates for raising young scallops before they were placed in cages. Mogula (“sea grapes”) fouling heavily impacted all scallops set in cages, preventing Rob from monitoring growth and survival rates during the grow out phase of the scallops. The bucket system was superior to the box system for maintaining shelf life of live bay scallops because the scallops dried out in the box system. The cardboard trays absorbed all the moisture in the boxes. However, presentation and convenience of the box system was far superior to the bucket system.
Rob plans to adopt the early stocking with handiwipes as a substrate to stock ~1 mm scallops directly into 2 mm mesh pearl net bags to raise bay scallops to 25-30 mm. He may also investigate the possibility of stocking 25-30 mm scallops into cages using a smaller mesh size bag to test the hypothesis that smaller mesh size bags prevent scallop shells from becoming fouled. He is also going to attempt to locate plastic trays with depressions that can be used for packaging scallops in boxes – combining the ease of the box system with scallop quality of the bucket system.