King scallop (Pecten maximus)

A filter-feeding bivalve mussel growing up to 15cm wide that sits in shallow depressions on sandy habitats.

Habitat: Found on fine sand and gravel habitats from sublittoral to 100m depth.

Diet: Plankton and organic detritus.

Life cycle: Adults are hermaphroditic and begin to spawn into the water column from around 3 years old. The larvae stay in the water column until they have metamorphised into miniature scallops (known as spat until they are 1 year old) which attach for a short period to material such as kelp and bushy seaweeds, they then detach and move to sand and gravel seabed.

Fishing gear used: In the region: Newhaven Scallop dredges.

NIFCA district & management: A permit is required to scallop dredge within the NIFCA district. NIFCA byelaws restrict the number of dredges, and the size of the mouth, and the vessel overall length. More information on the dredge permit can be found HERE.