Water-Related News

Red tide reduces scallop numbers in Southwest Florida

By Mike Braun

A precipitous drop in the number of bay scallops found during the 2013 Pine Island Sound Scallop Search isn’t seen as a harbinger of the bivalve’s future, it was expected.

About 90 people in 20 boats found 24 scallops Saturday in a search of several sites around Pine Island Sound. “It is very low,” said Lee County Sea Grant agent Joy Hazell. “But it was expected due to the red tide.”

The search found 400 scallops in 2012, more than 1,000 in 2011 and 330 the year before. The annual count is sponsored by Florida Sea Grant and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.