Sarasota Bay Watch is teaming up with Sarasota County to create scallop sanctuaries around Sarasota Bay. Sarasota County is providing scallop cages, which will protect juvenile scallops from predators such as rays, crabs and fish. A number of cages will be put out in the water on sea grass beds in various locations. Each cage has PVC pipe A-frame that will keep the scallops suspended in the water above the sea grass to provide lots of fresh water flow and a safe home for growing to adults. SBW volunteers will visit the scallop sanctuaries periodically to clean the cages, count the scallops to track survivability and measure their shell size to monitor growth rates. Once the scallops reach adulthood we hope that the scallops will spawn naturally to help reestablish stable breeding populations like we once had in the bay. Many thanks to Sarasota County and all the Sarasota Bay Watch volunteers – it’s great teamwork for a great cause!
Image Credit: Rusty Chinnis