Digby is famous for it’s scallop fishing – and we enjoy a scallop meal whenever we can get one. The town of Digby is located on the west shore of Nova Scotia, and despite the increased tourism, still maintains an authentic feel of an old time fishing village.
Scallops are most often caught using a device called a “drag” or “dredge”. Harvesters drag large metal chain-link baskets with teeth, along the seafloor at low speed. After about 20 minutes, the basket is hauled up and dumped on the sorting deck of the boat. The crew sorts through the catch discarding rocks and throwing back any immature scallops. The scallops that are kept, are all hand shucked.
In the Maritimes, there are currently 191 licenses for Scallops but only about 70 are actively fished each year. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has enacted a number of measures to ensure conservation of the scallop industry.
Scallop fishing is limited to only 5 weeks in the spring and 5 weeks in the fall.
Fishing is prohibited on Sundays.
No more than 44 scallops together can weigh 500 grams of meat. This prevents the harvesting of immature scallops.
Fishermen are required to keep daily logbooks of their catch.