Impressive Scallop Pearl Found in Bay of Fundy

Scallop Pearl (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Scallop Pearl (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

When Karen started fishing for scallops with her husband four years ago, she had no idea the mollusks could produce pearls. But over those years she has developed a growing collection, and a nearly perfect pearl discovered just last week is now one of her most prized pieces.

The scallop fishery opened on the Bay of Fundy early last Monday morning. Scallops have to be shucked while on board, and that's what crew member Andrew Fowler was doing when he came across the large, round pearl.

"Normally, most guys don't see the little pearls because they're shucking so fast," said Karen.

But in this case, he did, and while Karen wishes she could have been the one to shuck the scallop, but she's happy her crew member turned it over for her to add to her collection.

Scallops, like other mollusks, produce pearls as a way to deal with irritations, according to Marine biologist Claire Goodwin, who said they're likely formed to combat parasites.

"The scallop protects itself by forming this ball around this ball of calcium carbonate," she said, "around the parasite."

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