At the stage of harvest, with bottom scallop farming, the scallops are being caught by hand and bag by divers and brought to small boats. From there, the bags with live scallops are brought to shore without ice. The journey by boat takes about 1,5 hours. It is obligatory to bring the scallop to one of the seven governmental authorized landing areas for primary sanitary inspection and control of weights. This inspection can take 1 hour after arrival. If accepted, the scallop is brought by trucks of 4,000 – 5,000 kg within 1,5 hours to primary processing plants.
Regarding hanging scallop farming, if reached the right size for commercialization, the hanging pearl nets are taken out of the water by hydraulic cranes on boats. The net is brought to shore without ice. Also here an authorized landing area needs to check the product. They put the net on wooden pallets and bring them to a shaking area where the scallop is being ‘shaken’ from the net, put in plastic cubes and brought to the processing plant. The whole process from harvest until arrival to the plant can take 4 hours easily.
The medium and bigger farmers like Acuapesca and Iprisco bring their scallops to their own plants or to the public plants for primary and secondary processing, thus maintaining the scallop in their possession for export. The smaller and some medium farmers sell their harvest beforehand to the bigger companies like Ecofrost and Hayduk or to public processing plants, who then become the owners and hence re-sellers to bigger companies or even exporters of the scallops. These small-medium farmers and public processing plants are in direct contact with each other. In cases where a concession is divided among several smaller farmers, normally the concession holder takes care of the trade in name of all farmers together. Normally, at this stage, there are no middlemen involved.