By Matt Sabo,
Young scallops are thriving off the mid-Atlantic coast, boding well for the catch three years from now when Virginia watermen ply the waters of what's considered the most valuable wild scallop fishery in the world.
Recent surveys by researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found an abundance of 2-year-old scallops in the first two of the year's five assessments of the bivalves.
A record-breaking number of scallop seed were observed in late April in the DelMarVa closed area — off the coast of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia —and in early May in the Hudson Canyon closed area located off the coast of New Jersey, said Bill DuPaul, a VIMS emeritus professor. A survey, called a tow, in the northern part of the Hudson Canyon closed area yielded more than 13,000 seed.
"Anything over 100 seed scallops per tow is pretty good, anything above 1,000 is excellent and anything above 10,000 is remarkable," DuPaul said.