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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Virginia Scallop Fishermen Facing Huge Fines

103.5 FM (WTOP) in Washington is reporting on how Scallop fishermen are facing huge fines for exceeding the weight limits allowed by law. Most of these violators are from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

WTOP further states:

"The largest fine sought by the government is $500,000 from Andrew J. Willey Jr. of Hallwood, a town on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Willey's Gold Nugget II allegedly violated a 400-pound-per-trip limit more than 20 times in 2004."

Now the reason I am bringing this to your attention is because I have lived on the Eastern Shore. Most of the families that run fishing industries have done it from generations. They are a very tight knit group that can trace their roots back to some of the first English settlers.

Even many of the locals have a hard understanding the fishermen, because of their decidedly cockney accent, and rough life style. On the Eastern shore, there is a cultural break between them and the farmers.

Now let me get back to the scallops, they are known to also fake scallops. It was not uncommon to see a hole saw used in shark meat to immediately get a higher price. There is little taste difference, but the profit return is greatly enhanced.

So how do you tell a fake scallop from a real scallop? Well, hole sawed scallops don't have the little flap of meat that connects real scallops to the shell. You might want to look carefully before you make that next scallop purchase.


At 12:58 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

I had always wondered how you could tell the difference between real scallops and fake... Thanks, Bob.

My ex-husband hailed from Chincoteague and his grandfather ran one of the world's largest clam catching enterprises, until regulations made the business too difficult to make a profit.

Another interesting note...the Eastern Shore of Virginia supported the North in the Civil War. The Southerners couldn't afford the seafood, but the North could, so they went where the money least that's the way I heard it;)

At 1:13 PM, Blogger B O B said...

I lived near Exmore a bit south of Chincoteaque (which is famous for their wild ponies).

I also worked for the fishing industry. indirectly. I taught at a sheltered workshop and we made crab pots for the local fishermen.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...


I went to Pony Penning one year...WOW! And I remember driving through Exmore on our way to Chincoteague. I never will forget the crab sandwich I had at the carnival...soft-shelled crab with the legs dangling over the side...yech!!!! Too spidery looking for me. But love sweet potato french fries fried in peanut oil. Yum:) There is some good eating on the Eastern Shore.

Are you familiar with Tom's Cove Campground? That is what my ex-husband's mother's family owned after the crabbing industry stopped being fruitful for them.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Hi Melissa, crab sandwiches are great, and so are clam fritter sandwiches that are also a speciality on the Eastern Shore. I have heard of that campground but never been there myself.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...

My ex-husband's mom and grandma were awesome cooks...I am salivating just thinking of some of those awesome meals I ate there:)


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