The Japanese Hokkaido scallop fishery (Patinopecten yessoensis) was first started in the 1800s. Like the U.S. scallop, the Japanese scallop ranges in larger sizes from 9-12/lb., 16-18/lb., 18-22/lb. and 23-28/lb.
Yesso scallops are developed in shallow bays and inlets along the coast from 1 – 6 miles offshore and in waters that are 48 to 164 feet deep. Wild juvenile scallops or spat are planted in specific areas of the ocean floor; they are planted at different times to ensure a consistent harvest. Most of the scallops planted this way are harvested by dredge. Scallops are also grown using the off-bottom method with suspended lantern nets. Scallops of marketable size 3.9” (100 mm) are available for harvest in year 2-3, earlier in more favorable conditions of food supply and temperature.
The Japanese Scallop Fishery is managed by The Department of Fisheries and Forestry of the Hokkaido Prefecture. Today, because of successful sustainable fishing practices, the fishery is the world’s largest scallop fishery. The Japanese Scallop Fishery achieved MSC certification in 2013.