Giant Scallop
Placopecten magellanicus

Adult scallop with a reddish-brown, flat smooth shell, surrounded by other scallops on a bed of crushed ice.

Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

One of several types of scallops farmed in Canada, this shellfish offers a delicious and meaty treat that is popular among consumers.

Six scallops on a circular tray inside a net, held by a fisherman on a boat.

John Zada/Alamy Stock Photo

Most farmers grow scallops in trays, nets, cages, socks, or lanterns attached to horizontal long lines. The long lines are submerged about 10 metres below the surface.

A few hatcheries on the West Coast produce scallop seeds. The seeds are tiny versions of adult scallops.

Good to Know . . .

Ocean acidification is bad for scallops and other shellfish. It stops them from forming their shells. Oceans acidify when they absorb too much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Scallop underwater with its shell opened wide, showing its black and white tissues and gills, and black eyes, with other shells in the background.

When scallops are stressed, they can “bite” other scallops that are too close by snapping their shells shut. Farmers watch for behaviours like biting as part of their efforts to keep their scallops healthy.

Cream-coloured scallop adductors in a bowl with garnish.

Olga Bondas/Shutterstock

A scallop’s two shells are held together by a muscle called an adductor. The adductor is also the part of the scallop most people in Canada prefer to eat!

Bay scallop with ridged, mottled brown and mother-of-pearl shell, against a grey backdrop.

Matthew R McClure/Shutterstock

There are many species of scallops farmed in Canada — not just giant scallops. Some are native, while others have been brought to Canada from other countries. Some are hybrids between native and non-native species.

Moss-covered scallop swimming towards the camera through water.

Nature Picture Library/Alamy Stock Photo

Scallops propel themselves through the water by opening and closing their shells. They do this to escape predators, such as sea stars.