The effect of stocking density of the scallop (Pecten maximus L.) in suspended culture using pearl and lantern nets on growth and carbohydrate content of the adductor muscle was assessed in two populations from Mulroy Bay and Bantry in Bantry Bay for 1 year. The results showed that in all treatments, the growth rate increased significantly from June to September. In general, the carbohydrate content in the striated muscle decreased from maximum levels in September to a minimum in March. The carbohydrate content of the smooth muscle was lower than the striated and gradually increased throughout the experiment. The scallops from Bantry Bay had a significantly higher growth and carbohydrate content than the spat from Mulroy Bay. Spat cultured in lantern nets had a significantly higher growth rate than those cultured in pearl nets. In addition, spat cultured at low densities had a higher growth rate and carbohydrate content during the summer than those cultured at high densities. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.