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Scallops Farming in the Philippines: How to Cultivate Scallops for Profit

Scallop farming is not a popular aquaculture venture in the Philippines, but scallop farmers in Asid Gulf in Masbate are reportedly making sustainable profits.

Did you know that scallop farming can be a viable business opportunity? This article will give you an overview of the industry and provide some key tips to help you get started. From understanding the basics of scallop farming to mastering the methods of cultivating and harvesting, this guide will ensure that you have all the information needed to produce profitable scallops.

Introduction to Scallops Farming

Scallops are a popular seafood item in the Philippines, and their popularity has increased demand. Scallops farming is a way to meet this demand while providing a sustainable source of scallops. Scallop farming is not a new practice, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years as the demand for scallops has increased.

Scallops are bivalve mollusks that live in saltwater environments. They are filter feeders and use their gills to capture small food particles from the water. Scallops are harvested for their meat, which many consider a delicacy. The meat is white and tender with a sweet flavor.

Scallop farming is done by culturing scallops in cages or nets suspended in the water column. The scallops are fed a diet of phytoplankton, which they filter from the water. Scallop farms can be found in coastal areas worldwide, including North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, but in the Philippines, most scallop farms are found in Asid Bayu in Masbate.

Scallops farming

Scallop farming offers many benefits over wild-caught scallops. Farmed scallops are more consistent in size and quality and are available year-round. Scallop farms also have less impact on the environment than wild scallops.

What Is Involved In Scallops Farming?

The process of scallop farming is relatively straightforward. It involves cultivating scallops in an enclosed space, such as a bay or lagoon, and harvesting them when they reach maturity.

To start a scallop farm, farmers first need to obtain a permit from the local government (depending on which province or city the farm is located in). Prepare the site by building pens or nets to enclose the area where the scallops will be grown. Once the enclosure is complete, farmers seed the area with juvenile scallops (spat).

The scallops are left to grow undisturbed for several months before being harvested. During this time, farmers must regularly check on the health of their crops and ensure that the water quality remains good. When the scallops are finally ready for harvest, they are collected by hand or with small suction dredges.

After harvest, the scallops are cleaned and sorted before being sold fresh or processed into products such as canned goods or dried seafood snacks. Scallop farming is labor-intensive but can be profitable if done correctly.

Benefits of Scallop Farming

Scallop farming provides several benefits for those looking to cultivate scallops for profit.

  1. Firstly, scallop farming is a relatively low-cost way to enter the commercial shellfish industry.
  2. Secondly, scallop farming can be carried out in various locations and environments, making it a versatile option for would-be farmers.
  3. Finally, scallop farming is a sustainable way to produce this popular seafood, ensuring a steady supply for years to come.

Necessary Equipment and Supplies

If you’re planning on starting a scallop farm, there are some necessary equipment and supplies you’ll need to get started. Here is a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Boat. Since scallops are farmed offshore from 30-40m deep up to shallow waters, a ship is the first piece of equipment you must have.
  2. Scallop seed: You can either grow your seed or purchase it from a hatchery. If you choose to develop your own, you must set up a larval-rearing system.
  3. Scallop cages: These protect your scallops from predators and allow for easy harvesting.
  4. A source of seawater: You’ll need access to clean, salt water for your scallops. A nearby ocean or bay should work fine.
  5. Scalpel or sharp knife: When harvesting, this is for cutting the muscle attaching the scallop to its shell.

With these supplies, you should be all set to start farming scallops

How To Cultivate Scallops

To cultivate scallops, you will need to obtain a scallop seed permit from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) or your local municipality. Once you have received your permit, you must purchase scallop seeds from a hatchery. You will also need to buy or lease bottomland appropriate for culturing scallops. Scallops can be cultivated in either intertidal or subtidal areas.

After you have obtained your seeds and bottomland, you will need to prepare your site for planting. If you are culturing scallops in an intertidal area, you must construct cages or nets to protect your scallops from predators. If you are culturing scallops in a subtidal area, you must secure your bottomland with anchors. Once your site is prepared, you can plant your scallop seeds by broadcasting them over the desired area.

Scallops require a minimum water temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit to survive and thrive. Therefore, choosing a cultivation site with water temperatures that meet this requirement is important. Scallops also require a minimum dissolved oxygen concentration of 5 mg/L. The best way to ensure that your cultivation site has adequate dissolved oxygen concentrations is to test the waters before planting your seeds.

Scallop seeds typically mature in 6 to 12 months. Once they have grown, they can be harvested using hand-held rakes or dredges.

Harvesting and Marketing

As the scallops grow, they will need to be harvested. This can be done by hand or with a dredge. Hand harvesting is the most labor-intensive method, but it allows for a higher-quality product. Dredging is less labor-intensive but can damage the scallops.

After the scallops are harvested, they need to be cleaned and processed. The cleaning process involves removing the guts and viscera from the scallop, which can be done by hand or with a machine. Processing the scallops involves removing the meat from the shell, which can also be done by hand or with a machine.

The scallops can be packaged and sold fresh, frozen, or canned. The price of scallops depends on the market, but typically, fresh scallops in the Philippines cost between P250 and P700 per kilo, depending on location.

Potential Challenges of Scallop Farming

Farming scallops can be a rewarding and profitable venture, but there are some potential challenges that you should be aware of before getting started. One challenge is the high cost of starting up a scallop farm. Scallops are delicate creatures and require special equipment and facilities for farming. Another challenge is the potential for disease and pests. Scallops are susceptible to several diseases and pests that can decimate a crop. Finally, weather conditions can also play a role in scallop farming. Extreme weather conditions can damage equipment, kill scallops, and disrupt farming operations.

Questions Related to Scallops Farming and Culture

Are farmed scallops healthy?

Scallops are everyone’s favorite seafood! They are easy to cook, delicious, and have a delicate, sweet flavor. They are also high in protein and packed with minerals such as selenium, zinc, copper, and omega 3, making them a super healthy meal choice.

What do scallops feed on? What do Scallops eat?

Sea scallops feed by filtering phytoplankton or other small organisms out of the water column, which can help to improve water quality by removing suspended materials. Many kinds of pelagic fish and invertebrates eat scallop larvae.

How long do scallops take to grow?

Scallops become fully mature at about three years old when they are about 90mm long. Spawning occurs in the warmer months, from May to August, and a three-year-old can produce between 15 and 21 million eggs yearly.

Can scallops be farmed?

Scallops are farmed in several different ways. Hanging culture uses rafts or floating longlines under which pearl lanterns, mesh pockets, or trays are suspended in the water.

How fast do scallops reproduce?

A single scallop can produce millions of eggs at once, but only one egg out of 12 million is likely to reach adulthood. It takes approximately 36 hours for fertilized eggs to become tiny larvae or veligers. Larval scallops are pelagic, meaning they drift in the water column for 10 to 14 days.

Is scallop farming sustainable?

Scallops farmed worldwide using off-bottom culture methods are the best choice. Scallop farming is considered a sustainable practice. While the risk of spawning-related escapes is high, most farmed species are genetically identical to native species.

Is scallop farming profitable?

When done right, scallop farming can be very profitable. Like other forms of shellfish farming, scallop production involves substantial capital investment and some risks. Raising scallops successfully also requires daily attention.

Are there scallops in the Philippines?

Five species of scallops (Bivalvia: Pectinidae) support the commercial scallop fishery in Asid Gulf (Masbate), Philippines. Two species, Decatopecten striatus Schumacher, 1817 (57%) and Chlamys funebris Reeve, 1852 (39%), accounted for 96% of the total annual harvest.

Can you farm-raised scallops?

Global farmed scallop production amounted to 2.12 million tonnes in 2018, valued at USD 5.8 billion. China produced more than 90% of this volume. Other important producing countries are Japan, Peru, Chile, South Korea, and Russia. Scallops are farmed in several different ways.

Are scallops hard to farm?

Scallop farming and harvesting are extremely labor-intensive and not easy to farm. Each bivalve must be individually pinned to a line before being suspended in the water, a process called ear-hanging. This results in particularly large, well-shaped animals with a potential wholesale price of as much as P700 per kilo when sold live.

How fast do scallops reproduce?

Wild-caught Philippine Bay Scallops are landed primarily in the southwestern region of Masbate. This Bay Scallop, Chlamys nobilis, is a different species than the Chinese-farmed raised Bay Scallop. Scallops are available all over the country, though, but are hardly found in every market.


From understanding the right techniques for planting and harvesting scallops to learning how to market them, this beginner’s guide on scallop farming should have given you a great overview of everything you need to know. If done correctly and with the right amount of research, scallop farming can be an incredibly lucrative and rewarding business venture. We wish you all the best in your upcoming endeavors!

Note: People are asking what scallops are in Tagalog. There is no direct local translation for scallops, as they are also called scallops locally. Capis is from another sheel called “Placuna placenta mollusk,” which is not a scallop but a mollusk, so don’t get confused.

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