Produced by Coonamessett Farm Foundation & UnderCurrent Productions


SUSTAINING SEA SCALLOPS is a 35-minute documentary on the history and resurgence of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, seen through the eyes of fishermen and researchers. In 1999, facing fisheries closures and bankruptcy, the scallop industry began funding a unique research program to minimize impacts on the marine environment. Fifteen years later, the Atlantic sea scallop is hailed as one of the most sustainable and lucrative fisheries in the world.

From New Bedford, Massachusetts to Seaford, Virginia, fishermen and researchers tell a rare tale of renewal, offering cooperative research as a new model for sustaining healthy fisheries and fishing communities. The film sends a clear and powerful message:  a healthy ocean leads to healthy fishing communities, with ripple effects on the larger economy and ecosystem.


The United States Mid-Atlantic region is an important foraging ground for sea turtles, but relatively little is known about the turtles in this region due to complications involved with locating and capturing the immature and adult turtles on these offshore foraging grounds. This field program--which yieleded captivating and enlightening video footage like the clip below--was implemented by the Coonamessett Farm Foundation and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (as part of its AMAPPS project) with substantial support from the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Managementthe Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea ProgramNEFSC’s Drifter Programthe National Marine Life Centerthe Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Northeast Regional Office. Use the link below to access real-time turtle tracks from this program.