Great scallop live on sandy seabeds and in shallow waters as well as in depths of more than 100 metres. Many live at a depth of 10-30 metres, within reach of divers. They can be found from the Oslofjord to Vesterålen, although they are most common between Fjord Norway in the western parts of the country and Nordland in the north.
The scallop is a hermaphrodite that spawns in the summer. Fertilisation takes place in the open water, where the larvae develop. The larvae then swim freely for a month before they settle on a firm foundation. It takes about 4-5 years for the shells to reach a size of 10-12 centimetres, when they are ready to be harvested.
Norwegian scallop has a fine colour and muscle with good structure and taste. They can live for more than 20 years.
In Norway, great scallop are hand-picked and harvested by experienced divers. Kept free of sand and sorted according to size, they are delivered to the receiving facilities the same day in perfect condition. This is a unique process: almost everywhere else, scallop are harvested using trawlers or dredgers. At the receiving facilities, they are stored in tanks with a good flow of fresh, cold seawater.
Harvest takes place all year around but they only carry roe some parts of the year, depending on where in the country they are found. Research is currently carried out on how to develop great scallop as a farmed species. After hatching, they are cultivated in crates in the sea and then set out on the seabed.
Sold live, gratinated/frozen, as frozen muscles or muscles in a sugar and salt solution.
Phytoplankton, bacteria, other micro-organisms and dead organic material.
Great scallop is especially rich in:
- Protein that builds and maintains every cell in the body.
- Vitamin D, necessary to balance calcium in the body, which maintains and strengthens the bones.
- Vitamin B12, which is important for the body to produce new cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to preventing anaemia.
- Selenium, an important element in an enzyme that fights harmful chemical processes in the body.
More nutritional data can be found at www.nifes.no/en/prosjekt/seafood-data