Longboat Key – The 8th annual Scallop Search, put on by Sarasota Bay Watch, will be going on Saturday, August 29th. It is at Mar Vista Dockside restaurant and pub on Longboat Key.
Scallop Search Last Year
Started in 2007 the annual scallop search is conducted to asses the scallop population of Sarasota Bay. Scallop populations became near extinct in Sarasota Bay in the early 1960’s. Municipal water waste and dredging has made for a substantial loss of habitat. Sarasota Bay Watch has made great efforts to restore Scallop populations. They have conducted the annual scallop search and released scallops of various ages back into the environment. So far, Sarasota Bay Watch has released 70 million Scallops in the larvae stage, along with tons of juvenile and adult scallops.
During the Scallop search citizen volunteers search along marked areas of the bay in scuba and snorkeling gear and count the scallops they find. These citizen science efforts give researchers an idea of the health of Sarasota Bay scallop populations.
Scallops are an important part of the bay ecosystem because of their tremendous ability to filter water allowing more sunlight to pass through to seagrass; therefore, contributing to the overall success of habitat. Scallops not only filter water, but are an important source of food to conchs, crabs, fish and rays making them an important link in the food chain.
For additional information check out the Sarasota Bay Watch website or this fabulous youtube video about Sarasota Bay Watch and their Scallop preservation efforts.
Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper Volume 15 No. 42 August 19, 2015 Outdoors section “Reel Time: 8th Annual Scallop Search”.