Family Scalloping Season on Nantucket

As of October 1st, anyone with a recreational shellfish license from the Town of Nantucket can go scalloping. A Fall tradition on Nantucket, scalloping is a great way to spend the day on the water while gathering special delicacies for the night's dinner or the freezer.

Before you head out to Nantucket and Madaket Harbor with all of your gear, take a look at these helpful safety tips prepared by Harbormaster Sheila Lucey and Jeff Carlson, head of the town’s natural resources department.

  • If you wear waders, make sure they have a belt. That way, water can’t get past your waist and into your boots, dragging you down. A life-jacket can’t hurt, either.
  • Go out with a buddy. They can help you if you get in trouble, and you’ll have someone to talk to if pickings are slim.
  • If you’re snorkeling, make sure you have a dive flag to let boaters and other scallopers know where you are.
  • Be careful where you are walking. You can use your push-rake to test the bottom and reach someone in trouble.
  • You may only take one bushel of scallops per week.
  • Harvestable scallops must have a well-defined growth ring. “When in doubt, throw it out.”
  • COVID-19 guidance applies. Maintain the same protocols you would on land. Social-distance by at least six feet, and be sure to have a mask available if someone gets too close.
  • You must have a license and prominently display your shellfishing button. If you’re snorkeling, pin it to your dive flag. Annual resident shellfishing licenses are $35, free for those over 60. Non-resident licenses are $125 for the year and $50 for a single-week license. Licenses are available at the Nantucket Public Safety Building, 4 Fairgrounds Road.

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