Size distribution and swimming activity of the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, were measured in situ from high-definition video recordings collected by a remotely operated vehicle on a fished scallop bed on German Bank, Gulf of Maine in August 2010. Scallop densities ranged from 0.004 to 3.89 m−2 and shell height (SH) ranged from 16.3 to 193.8 mm. The size distribution was bimodal, with high abundance from 20 to 40 mm SH indicating a recent recruitment event in the area. The low abundance of scallops >100 mm SH was likely due to the active fishery in this area. Of 535 observed swims, 200 were characterized for swim distance, time, velocity and distance travelled per adduction. The size of scallops observed to swim ranged from 18.9 to 99.9 mm SH. Both swim time and swim distance increased linearly with SH, and quadratic relationships were observed between velocity and SH, and between distance travelled per adduction and SH. Swimming velocities peaked at ~ 50 cm s−1 for scallops between 60 and 80 mm, and maximum velocity was 103.2 cm s−1observed for an individual of 64.0 mm SH. Our study provided a unique opportunity to investigate size distribution and associated swimming activity of scallops in their natural habitat, rather than in a simulated study in the laboratory, and at depths not reachable by SCUBA diving.