Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 1889
Page 313

The Giant Scallop Fishery of Maine
by Hugh M. Smith

Table of Contents (Detailed)

A. Introduction
B. Natural History
C.The Fishery
D. The Uses of the Giant Scallop
E. Preparation of Products, Markets, Synopsis of article.


A. Introduction.
The fishery for scallops on the coast of Maine is an industry of such comparatively recent inception that the general fishery interests, except those directly concerned, are, as a rule, misinformed of its extent and character, or wholly ignorant of its existence.

Although the industry gives employment to several hundred persons; has considerable capital devoted to it; yields large quantities of a highly esteemed and valuable food product; and is capable of great improvement and development, it appears to have received little attention, and the first investigation of its nature and extent was undertaken by the U S. Fish Commission in 1889.

As an illustration of the paucity of information on the subject, the writer would quote a well known authority on mollusks. Speaking of the scallop which is the object the fishery in Maine, Winslow says:

"The species is not abundant nor of commercial importance. It is available for food, however, and occasionally used as such." (1)

This may be said to represent all that has been published on the giant scallop viewed from a commercial standpoint. At the time at which Winslow wrote, the foregoing statement was no doubt substantially correct. But conditions have changed; it is the province of this paper to show that in many localities the species is very abundant and of great and growing economic value; and the fishery is thought to be of sufficient magnitude and importance to warrant the detailed discussion which follows.

The writer is indebted to the following-named persons for valuable data based on original observations on scallops and the scallop fishery adjacent to their homes: Messers L. F. Gott, of Tremont; F. W. Lunt of West Tremont; W. W. A. Heath, of Seal Cove; S. D. Gray, of Cape Rosier; J. M. Vogell, of Castine; and John E. Kelly, of North Boothbay. Acknowledgment of the courtesies extended by these gentlemen is hereby tendered.

Footnote: (1) London Fisheries Exhibition, 1883. Catalogue of the Economic Molluscs, by Lieut. Francis U. S. Navy, Washington, 1883.


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