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    Calico scallop, Argopecten gibbus

    Calico scallops are patchily distributed from Delaware Bay south into the Caribbean Sea
    north to about 20 degrees N latitude. Genetic and morphological similarities between Florida
    and North Carolina calico scallop populations and coastal current patterns suggest that larval
    dispersal from Florida may be an important source of North Carolina stocks (Krause et al. 1994).
    Calico scallops are generally found in waters ranging from about 30 to 1,300 feet deep but have
    been reported from shallower waters in Biscayne Bay (Coleman et al. 1993). Spawning occurs
    throughout the year but peaks in late fall and in the spring (Arnold 1995). Calico scallops are
    hermaphrodites that sequentially release sperm and eggs. In the laboratory, the pelagic larval
    phase lasts for 14–16 days after which larvae attach to hard substrate. Calico scallops can reach
    0.06” shell height in two months and 0.7”–1.1” in three months (Allen 1979). Scallops reach a
    commercial size of 1.87”–2.10” shell height in six to eight months. Maximum life span is about
    24 months.
    Calico scallops may have similar feeding habits as the closely related bay scallops. Davis
    and Marshall (1961) reported that the bay scallop primarily fed on microflora such as detritus,
    bacteria, and organic matter. Predation is a major factor affecting survival during various phases
    of the calico scallop life cycle. Schwartz and Porter (1977) found that 22 species of
    macroinvertebrates and 24 species of fish fed on calico scallops. The invertebrates included sea
    stars, gastropod, mollusks, squid, octopus, and crabs. The fishes included sharks, rays, and bony
    No landings of calico scallops were reported from Florida in 2005. The most recent
    landings date to 2003, and were 61,704 pounds. In 2003, landings were made exclusively in
    Brevard County on the Atlantic coast (Fig. 1). Total annual landings of calico scallops are
    highly variable due to extreme fluctuations in recruitment success, population size, and changes
    in market demand. For instance, no landings were reported in Florida during 1996 due to an
    apparent switch by the fishery to fishing for rock shrimp. The 2003 total landings of calico
    scallops were 95% lower than the average landings in the previous five years (1998–2002) and
    were 99% lower than the historical average landings (1982–2003; Fig. 2). At its highest peak in
    1984, the Atlantic coast fishery reported landings of more than 40 million pounds (Fig. 2).
    Since1989, the statewide landings have ranged from zero to about 7.0 million pounds. Atlantic
    coast commercial catch rates were highly variable with occasional peaks, e.g., 1998 (Fig. 3).
    Calico scallops are infrequently landed along the gulf coast of Florida except in “boom” years,
    e.g., 1994, 1998, 1999 (Fig. 2, Appendix A).
    Successful calico scallop recruitment is highly variable. Factors influencing year-class
    success probably include coastal upwelling, which drives nutrient rich water to the surface layers
    and may aid in retaining larvae over favorable habitat. Biological impacts on year-class strength
    Florida Fish and Wildl. Conserv. Comm., FWRI (2006) CALICO SCALLOP - 1
    are unknown, but parasitic infestations have caused mass mortalities (Arnold 1995). With these
    resource dynamics, the fishery is a "boom-or-bust” type where large annual harvests can be
    followed by years with little to no harvest. The present condition of stock in the south Atlantic
    region is unknown because of the large fluctuations in calico scallop abundance (South Atlantic
    Fishery Management Council and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 1981). Given
    the level of fluctuations in abundance and limited data, no MSY have been specified for calico
    scallop in the management plan. It is believed that several scallop beds are not harvested each
    year because of the vastness of the scallop beds on the grounds. Commercial fishing catch rate
    may regulate the exploitation rate. When catch rates drop below a profitable level, harvesting
    ceases, leaving the remaining scallops to contribute to stock recruitment (South Atlantic Fishery
    Management Council and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 1981). No formal stock
    assessment of the Florida’s calico scallop stocks is available at the present time.
Download complete report
(including figures)
Status and Trends 2007 Report
Florida’s Inshore and Nearshore Species
by Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
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