Scientists try repopulating scallops off Southwest Florida coast

SARASOTA — Scientists are hoping to restore the decimated mollusk population by releasing millions of microscopic scallop larvae into the waters off Southwest Florida.

There have not been enough scallops to allow recreational collecting, or commercial harvesting, since the 1960s.

This weekend volunteers helped scientists place four million baby scallops in the water. They hope at least one percent survive.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports the larvae were collected from Anclote Key and taken to a hatchery at the Bay Shellfish Company where they were monitored for weeks.

An annual count found 93 adult scallops in the bay earlier this year.

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Comments » 5

wentfishn writes:

What a Stroke job and a waste of time!! Some insider made some bucks off this scam im sure!!! No bivalves grow here anymore because of all the fertilizer water released all the time. There used to be blue crabs, clams , oysters and scallops but no more.

tru213 writes:

in response to wentfishn:

What a Stroke job and a waste of time!! Some insider made some bucks off this scam im sure!!! No bivalves grow here anymore because of all the fertilizer water released all the time. There used to be blue crabs, clams , oysters and scallops but no more.

Agree!

Good luck to the scallop larvae from Anclote Key. Their chances to survive in the polluted water and heavy boating traffic of Sarasota Bay is nil. What a waste of money and effort!

See Anclote Key where the scallop larvae came from.

Anclote Key is an island off the Gulf Coast of the U.S. state of Florida, located at 28°11'16"N, 82°50'44"W near Tarpon Springs. Its name originates from the Spanish term for "anchor." The island is accessible only by boat and is split between Anclote Key Preserve State Park and Anclote National Wildlife Reserve. The island contains mangrove wetlands, coastal pine flatwoods, and beaches. A large number of shorebirds nest and breed on Anclote Key and the surrounding islands.

OP writes:

They be messin' with Mother Nature. And, the cost of this tilt at windmills comes out of pockets.

If the water, (temperature, quality), was right for the scallop then those larvae that naturally are carried south in the current would have already re-established a population. A wiser use of time and resources would be in a small survey of the border waters between where scallops are present and where their numbers fall off. Keep the study small, because even if the difference in habitats leading to diminished populations to the south is identified, there is likely little that can be done about it, and a small project means smaller wasted resources to achieve nothing.

o2cool writes:

I hope this works and scallops can live and reproduce. It would be good for our economy. Why do some people down every idea that comes along? I am sure research was done prior to this decision and the results were favorable. Good luck.

wentfishn writes:

in response to o2cool:

I hope this works and scallops can live and reproduce. It would be good for our economy. Why do some people down every idea that comes along? I am sure research was done prior to this decision and the results were favorable. Good luck.

Over the years there has ben a number of people with projects to start marine life here. None worked so we figured it was a scam to get grant money. Dont be sure there was research done , its Floriduhhhhhh! Sorry

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