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Shirley, Susan M. and Gordon H. Kruse. 1995. "Development of the Fishery for Weathervane Scallops, Patinopecten caurinus (Gould, 1850), in Alaska." Journal of Shellfish Research 14(1):71-78.


The Alaska scallop fishery harvests weathervane scallops, Patinopecten caurinus (Gould 1850), in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea, although small quantities of Chlamys spp. have been harvested in recent years. The fishery began in 1967 and evolved from a sporadic, low-intensity fishery to one characterized by a highly specialized fleet by 1993. An influx of larger, more efficient vessels from 1990 through 1993 boosted harvests and altered the character of the fishery. Vessel length increased 85% from a mean (+ 1 standard error) of 18.5 + 2.9 m in 1983 to 34.3 + 4.5 m in 1991, and crew sizes doubled. The number of scallop landings increased significantly from 65.9 + 8.3 y-1 during 1980 through 1989 to 140.7 + 3.3 y-1 during 1990 through 1993, although the mean number of vessels did not change significantly between the two periods. Scallop harvests averaged 667.1 to 54.8 mt from 1990 through 1993, three times the average harvest of 216.7 to 30.3 mt from 1983 through 1989. The percentage of the fleet's total Alaskan fishing income derived from the scallop fishery increased from 57.7% in 1983 to 100% by 1990. The decreased diversification of scallop vessels into other fisheries represented a shift from a part-time fleet to a dedicated, full-time scallop fleet with greater harvesting efficiency. New management measures were adopted to address the changing nature of the fishery and included altered fishing seasons, observer coverage, area harvest limits, ceilings on catch of incidental species, restrictions on crew size and a moratorium on vessels fishing in the exclusive economic zone.