Strong winds over the weekend resulted in millions of seed scallops stranded along the southern edges of Nantucket Harbor, but a group of commercial scallopers, volunteers, and town staff mobilized on Monday to rescue the juvenile bay scallops.
The latest scallop rescue occurred in Wauwinet, where the town's Natural Resources Department staff discovered a "major seed stranding," according to shellfish hatchery technician Joe Minella. The discovery prompted a rescue effort that included members of the island's commercial scalloping fleet, who begin their season in just one week.
Close to two million seed scallops were gathered into totes, loaded onto boats, and returned to deeper water on Monday, according to the Natural Resources Department. Combined with the last scallop stranding event in mid-September, that means more than 10 million seed scallops have been rescued this fall.
"That equates to 25,000 bushels of adult scallops, so that's almost two-and-half great years of adult scallops that we've saved from the beach just this fall with the help from the community," Minella said.
Nantucket's recreational scalloping season began on Oct. 1st, and the commercial season will begin Wednesday, Nov. 1.