Maximizing Bay Scallop Seed Performance in Bottom Cage and Suspended Net Culture for Subtidal Aquaculture Farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2023: $27,202.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2025
Grant Recipient: Martino's Seafood, LLC
Region: Northeast
State: Massachusetts
Project Leader:
Dan Martino
Martino's Seafood, LLC


  • Animals: shellfish


  • Animal Production: aquaculture

    Proposal summary:

    Aquaculture farms are typically monoculture. New varieties of species are needed to grow the industry, diversify income, and maximize productivity. We are seeking to establish a bay scallop crop on our farm to meet increasing demand for shellfish products while also helping to diversify the aquaculture industry.

    Bay scallops are considered the most lucrative crop for aquaculture. There currently exists huge market demand for bay scallops, however with habitat loss and declining wild stocks, wild bay scallops are now facing extinction. Their delicate nature, sub-tidal habitat and competition with fishermen have historically hindered aquaculture adoption, however the recent collapse of the wild bay scallop habitat and fishery have created an opportunity for farms to adapt bay scallop culture to meet growing market demand.

    This project will measure the difference in growth and yield between two common types of oyster shellfish containers; bottom cage culture and pearl/lantern net culture. Growth measurements and mortality counts will be taken bi-monthly for two years with the end result being a how-to report that details the growth metrics and ultimately which culture method proved superior. 

    We intend to become the first commercial bay scallop farm in the region. This project will help aquaculture farms across the region successfully transition their oyster containers to bay scallops while also generating an eco-friendly, protein rich, high in demand product for the marketplace. The results will be presented to growers via our social media network, a dedicated website, and via the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association annual presentation.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to compare bay scallop growth in two common oyster growout gear methods; bottom cage culture and lantern/pearl net culture.

    Year One:

    1. Acquire Bay Scallop seed from the MV hatchery and deploy into our upweller nursery system.
    2. Grow seed to 1/4” size for planting into grow out gear trials
    3. Move seed to both grow out gear types as it comes to size
    4. Bi-monthly photo/measurement documentation of growth size in each gear type
    5. At EOY we will compile all data into a report and publish to our outlets

    Year Two:

    1. Continue Year One stock Bi-monthly photo/measurement documentation of growth size in each gear type
    2. Begin to harvest some of the Year One product for market
    3. Allow Year One stock to grow until natural mortality (Winter of year two)
    4. At EOY we will compile all data into a report and publish results to our outlets.


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.