The Iceland scallop is a slow growing species common in all shallow areas (< ca 150 m) both in the Spitsbergen area as well as along the coastal waters of Kola Peninsula and Northern Norway (Wiborg, 1962; 1968; Rubach and Sundet, 1987). It is usually associated with hard bottom substrate and most commonly in areas with strong currents (Wiborg, 1962). The scallop is a filterfeeder and is therefore highly dependent on the seasonal phytoplankton production, which also impact on its growth (Sundet and Vahl, 1981). In the Spitsbergen area,the scallop grows slowly and may become up to 30 years old (Rubach and Sundet, 1987). Unpublished data also reveal that the recruitment to the different stocks may vary significantly between periods.
In Russian EEZ, Iceland scallop are distributed in shallow waters in the south-eastern part of the Barents Sea on sandy bottom and shelly grounds at depths above 100 m. The maximum shell height is 150 mm, but considerably smaller individuals, from 70 to 110 mm, and from 50 to 60 mm off Novaya Zemlya, occur in settlements. The lifespan is 30 years and over. Iceland scallop mature by age 7-8. The number of eggs produced by females reach 500,000 (Denisenko, 1989).