Friday, March 25, 2011

Blue Eyed Scallops

Who doesn't love a scallop? Their shells are lovely, their meat is sweet and they have all those awesome blue eyes. They are also the only bivalve that can swim a little. It isn't really swimming but by opening and closing their shells they can propel themselves along the bottom of the ocean. Other bivalves, such as oysters remain attached to something their whole life or bury themselves in sand or mud, like clams.
Here on the Cape you can find blue eyed scallops wherever there is a good community of eelgrass. Much of the eelgrass in Cape waters has been in decline over the last 50 years but in some areas it seems to be coming back, if not quite flourishing. A lot of our south side beaches are good places to find these shells and in the fall you will see the scallopers out there with their rakes and buckets. It used to be that a good storm would wash hundreds of them up on the shore, free for the taking but those days are long gone.

Kids love finding live scallops. If they put them in a bucket of water at the beach and keep watch they should be able to see the scallop open up to show off those beautiful baby blues.

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