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Bay Scallop Web Survey Taps Recreational Harvesters

image of a large amount of scallops in a cooler

How many bay scallops are harvested along Florida's Gulf Coast each year? That's a question you can help researchers answer by participating in an online survey. Recreational harvesters are asked to indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect, and how long it takes to harvest the shellfish. Participants can also e-mail to ask questions or send additional information, such as photos and videos.

With the data these recreational harvesters provide, biologists hope to gain a greater understanding of the species' biology and range limitations. Researchers expect that what they learn about bay scallop abundance in individual areas of the fishery will enhance the accuracy of their next annual report.

In addition, researchers plan to use the public's data, combined with their own, to generate population models and identify long-term trends. More comprehensive information on the fishery could benefit recreational anglers, charter boat captains, and the tourism industry in communities where bay scallops are harvested.