Queen Scallop

Chlamys varia

Queen Scallops, Seafish

Image | Marc Dando copywrite Seafish

Description

Small scallops with a meaty chunk of muscle in each one with a delicate flavour and texture.


Sustainability Overview

The queen scallops that grow on the Falmouth oyster beds are a delicacy that are caught as a by catch of the Fal oyster fishery. A traditional fishery that is restricted to sail and oar power and thus is extremely sustainable. Falmouth Queen scallops have been appreciated by local oystermen for generations but have rarely been sold commercially. 

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When is best to eat?

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Sail and Oar

Fal Estuary, Cornwall

Caught by oyster fishermen who use traditional and environmentally friendly methods to fish for oysters using sail and oar power in the Fal Estuary

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How we rate fish

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Cornwall Good Seafood Guide rates fish on sustainability using a scale of 1 to 5.

1, 2 and 3 are recommended, Fish to avoid are rated 5.

We use the system devised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) so our scores are comparable with the scores produced by MCS for the UK and fisheries from all around the world. For more information on scoring click here.

Sustainability Overview

The queen scallops that grow on the Falmouth oyster beds are a delicacy that are caught as a by catch of the Fal oyster fishery. A traditional fishery that is restricted to sail and oar power and thus is extremely sustainable. Falmouth Queen scallops have been appreciated by local oystermen for generations but have rarely been sold commercially. 

Queen Scallops, Seafish

Biology

Variagated queen scallops, Chlamys varia are different to ordinary queen scallops, Aquipecten opercularis in that they live attached to the seabed by byssus threads similar to those used by mussels to cling on to rocks. They are fast growing and highly abundant animals that are found growing on empty oyster shells on the Fal and Helford  oyster beds.

Stock Info

No studies have been carried out to ascertain stock levels of this species but oystermen report that their numbers have been constant for many years and appear to be increasing.

Management

The fishery is managed by a local restrictive order that banned the use of engines or winches in the fal oyster fishery in 1868. This has preserved a traditional fishery which is naturally inefficient and thus has sustained this traditional livelihood for 150 years.

Capture Info

Queen scallops are caught as by-catch in the Truro river oyster fishery which is carried out in the Fal estuary during winter months. Queen scallops are brought up in oyster dredges. 

References

Classification of bivalve mollusc Production areas in England and Wales, Sanitary Survey Report) Fal estuary(lower) and Percuil river 2012 CEFAS Kershaw and Campos
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 510/2006 on protected geographical indications and protected designations of origin “Fal Oyster”  
 

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