Aging King Scallops

Call for experts to attend scallop age reading workshop.
Published: 13 February 2020

On 9-13 March, ICES will run a Workshop on Scallop Aging (WKSA) to share expertise on aging protocols, advances in methodology, and ways to improve consistency in age reading of king scallops (Pecten maximus).

King scallops are distributed widely along the European Atlantic coastline, from Norway to the Iberian Peninsula. Age and growth data for king scallops is routinely collected from both fishery-dependent and independent sources for use in scientific research and assessment of stocks. Age information can be estimated from the external growth rings on the shell.  Standardised methodologies, quality control and assurance are an essential component to validate age and growth estimates used for fisheries stock assessments and any future ecosystem-based fisheries management.

It is hoped that this workshop will initiate a regular platform to progress information flow and development of a cohesive understanding of growth in scallop populations and diverse stocks, vital for use in stock assessments and fisheries advise.

​Please note that this is not a training workshop.

Institutes and experts attending will present on their institute's current methodologies, standard operating procedures, and quality assurance process for scallop aging to allow discussion and agreement on a standardised methodology. 

Attendees are asked to bring along a reference set of scallops (10-20 shells) for a stock to allow exchange and review.​​


The possibilities of SmartDots, an age reading platform developed within ICES, will also be explored. The adoption of this type of image analysis software for recording and sharing samples between scientists would also enhance future age validation exercises.

WKSA is hosted by Marine Scotland Science (MSS)​, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, who are currently trialing the efficacy of using this technique for scallop age assessments/exchanges. Image based age reading is quick and may reduce time and costs associated with exchanging scallop shells with various institutes. The aim is to develop a reference set of scallop images and along with a standardised protocol for imaging scallops. Once the images are finalised and analysed they will be uploaded to the online portal SmartDots that allows readers to take part in exchanges by reading the images online, allowing a quicker and more effective method of exchanging scallop age readings.

If you have the required expertise, please contact the co-chairs to register your interest for the workshop.

​The work of WKSA addresses our science priorities of Observation and monitoring and Emerging techniques and technologies. Find out about all ICES science priorities in our Science Plan.

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​WKSA wants aging experts to attend with King Scallop shells to discuss their institute 's methodologies.

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Aging King Scallops

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