The Bay Scallop
The majority of the smaller bay scallops are farmed in China using a sustainable method of aquaculture. Bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) are found in a range of sizes from 40/60 per pound to 120/150 per pound.
The bay scallop, a native of the U.S. East Coast was sent to China in the early 1980’s and has evolved into a robust and successful aquaculture industry. Mainly cultivated in the Liaoning and Shandong Provinces, the juvenile scallops are planted using long lantern nets that are suspended off the floor of the Pacific Coast. The bays are filled with cold water fortified with micronutrients, which is a perfect food source for the scallops. Large kelp beds give the juvenile scallop added protection from predators.
Bay scallops have a very sweet and nutty flavor. Their size and sweetness make them perfect for use in chowders and stews, salads, stuffing and casseroles.
The farmed scallop industry has been very lucrative for the fishermen who tend to the nets and monitor the quality of the bays and scallops. The Chinese Government regulates the safety practices and management of the aquaculture industry.