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Virginia is an industry leader in U.S. scallop fishery

The U.S. scallop fishery is in good shape, with recent surveys showing encouraging numbers of juvenile scallops, said Dave Rudders, senior research scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point.

Virginia ranks third among U.S. states in scallop meat landings, Rudders said, trailing only Massachusetts and New Jersey.

But the good news about scallops follows some prescribed steps to benefit the fishery. Rudders said seven designated scallop zones have been arranged along the East Coast, from Maine to the Virginia-North Carolina state line. The closest zone to this region is located in the Atlantic Ocean roughly 40 miles off the Virginia coast.

The scallop zones are all 40 or 50 miles off the coast, Rudders said, and large commercial boats use large dredges to haul in the bivalves. Once onboard, the scallops are shucked and either placed in large woven bags and iced or the meat frozen in five-pound blocks.

The major areas for catching scallops on the East Coa...

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