Scalloping – From the Boat to Your Plate
Scallop season is still going strong in the Nature Coast! But did you know there is a lot more to scalloping than just finding the scallops? There’s a lot to consider to ensure a fun and safe day on the water. And scallops must be handled and cleaned correctly if you want a high quality and safe meal using your catch. That’s why a team of Extension Agents in the Nature Coast (Brittany Hall-Scharf, Sarah Ellis, and Savanna Barry) teamed up to bring you a new resource Best Practices for Scalloping: From the Boat to Your Plate. This great guide to recreational scalloping covers everything from making a float plan to dive flag management to proper icing procedures for scallops. This resource has everything you need to ensure a successful scalloping trip!
Better Scalloping for All
Even experienced scallopers may learn a thing or two. For example, did you know that it’s considered best practice to toss back small scallops (1.5″ or smaller)? This is because very small scallops have probably not spawned yet. Harvesting them would mean removing them from the population before they have contributed to the next generation. There are no legal size limits for bay scallops, so it is voluntary to throw back small scallops. But the meat is very small so you’ll probably be happier with your catch and spend less time shucking if you focus on harvesting larger scallops.
Also, did you know that the number one cause of boating accidents in 2017 was distracted boating and failure to post a lookout? That’s right! According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, almost 40% of boating accidents were caused by the operator’s lack of attention. These boating accidents likely could have been prevented by the simple act of posting a lookout!
The guide contains a lot of other great information. Get your copy today to ensure happy scalloping!
Photos: UF/IFAS and Florida Sea Grant