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Great scallop

Description: Scallops are bivalve molluscs, a group of marine animals which provide many of the commercial shellfish fisheries around the world. These two shells are the left and right halves, or valves, of two individual scallops, presumed to be from the sea close to the Isle of Man. Scallops rest on the seabed on the convex (right) valve. They swim to escape from danger, rapidly clapping their valves together, forcing jets of water out of the shell and propelling them foward through the water.

As the once highly productive herring fisheries in the Irish Sea declined in the twentieth century, other types of catch, such as scallops, became increasingly important to the survival of the Manx fishing industry. By the 1980s, Manx fishermen were relying heavily on scallops as a source of income. Great Scallops, represented by these specimens, and the smaller Queen Scallops (Chlamys opercularis - 'Queenies') are still the mainstay of the Manx fishing fleet, caught by towing a toothed metal dredge and net across the seabed. Recent concerns about conservation of the scallop stocks, and the damage that dredges can do to other marine life, have led to the setting up of several closed areas around the Manx coast. Here scallop populations can recover and 'seed' nearby areas to provide future stock for fishing.

Taxonomic name: Pecten maximus

Collection: Natural History Zoology Collection

ID number: 2010-0089/1-2


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