Alaska Administrative Code, Chapter 2 provides for subsistence harvest of scallops in state waters of Southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound Area, Cook Inlet Area, Kodiak Area, Alaska Peninsula-Aleutian Islands Area, and the Bering Sea Area. Unlike personal use fishery catch, which may be shared only with immediate family members, subsistence fishery catch may be shared with all members of the community. Participants are encouraged to contact area offices prior to fishing for information on available fisheries, regulations, and nonsubsistence use areas.
Scallops are captured commercially using standard New Bedford style scallop dredges that are on average 15 feet wide and weigh about 2,600 pounds. The frame provides a rigid, fixed dredge opening to which a steel ring bag (consisting of 4-inch rings linked together) is attached to collect the scallops as the dredge is towed.
To increase economic efficiency, permit holders created a scallop fishing cooperative in 2000. Some cooperative members opted to remove their boats from the fishery and arranged for their shares to be caught by other members of the cooperative, providing the remaining vessels with additional fishing opportunity. In recent seasons, only four vessels have participated in the fishery. This fleet of 70 to 120-ft vessels each has a crew of eight to twelve who shuck and freeze scallops onboard the vessels. Most scallops produced in Alaska are marketed directly by the cooperative. Except in the Cook Inlet Area, all commercial scallop fishing vessels are required by ADF&G to carry trained observers.
Personal Use Fishery
There are personal use scallop fisheries only in select locations of Alaska. A sport fishing license is required for participation. There is no closed season, but permits are required in some areas while bag and possession limits are established for others. Contact area offices for information.