More information

Queen scallop

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
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Shellfish is a culinary term that is often used for several species of molluscs, gastropods, bivalves and arthropods. Some examples are the St. James shell, mussels, razor clams, oysters, cockles and whelks. Most shellfish live partly or fully buried into the seabed, mostly in sandy or gravelly bottoms. They feed by filtering nutrients out of the water. Seed and eggs are released into the water and fertilized externally. Most shellfish are hermaphroditic, they can be both male and female. There are many different shellfish species in the North Sea that are very much suitable for consumption. Fishing methods on shellfish include hand-picking, dredging or mechanic dredges (suckers).


Queen scallop

The queen scallop looks like the great scallop or St James shell, however this species is much smaller. The queen scallop lives buried in sandy or gravelly seabeds in the north-eastern Atlantic coasts and the Mediterranean Sea at depths up to 450 m. The queen scallop can grow up to maximum 7 cm and live for 8-10 years. Crabs, starfish and various fish species feed on the queen scallop. Compared to other shellfish, the queen scallop has well developed senses. It has small tenticles with eyes that can detect light. When disturbed, the queen scallop rapidly opens  and closes its valves with great force, creating a jet of water that pushes it backwards and enables it to swim (away).

Queen scallop

Aequipecten opercularis

Atlantic Ocean, northeast (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl, Mechanic dredges, Dredges

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The stock of queen scallop is currently being overfished. The stock estimate is often an overestimation, wherefore the determined catch limits are too high.

The fishing with dredges or bottom otter trawls has a lot of bycatch of protected and endangered species, like sharks, rays and sea horses. Another large part of the bycatch consists invertabrates. There are indications that dredges permanently damage the seabed.

A large amount of regulatory measures are being taken due to the high economic and ecologic value of queen scallop. The management consists of closed areas, catch limits and a limited amount of allowed fishing vessels.



ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.