Cornish Queenie Scallops January 24 2018
The queen scallops that grow on the Falmouth oyster beds are a delicacy that are caught as a by catch of the Fal oyster fishery. A traditional fishery that is restricted to sail and oar power and thus is extremely sustainable. Falmouth Queen scallops have been appreciated by local oystermen for generations but have rarely been sold commercially.
Queen scallops found in the Fal estuary are beleived to be a mixture of 2 species Chlamys varia and Aqupecten opercularis which that they live attached to the seabed by byssus threads similar to those used by mussels to cling on to rocks. They are fast growing and highly abundant animals that are found growing on empty oyster shells on the Fal and Helford oyster beds.
The fishery is managed by a local restrictive order that banned the use of engines or winches in the fal oyster fishery in 1868. This has preserved a traditional fishery which is naturally inefficient and thus has sustained this traditional livelihood for 150 years.