Seafood Handbook Shellfish Page

The Seafood Handbook is the most comprehensive seafood directory available online. Featuring more than 100 of the most common seafood species in the U.S. market, the Seafood Handbook is the ultimate guide to seafood sourcing and preparation, brought to you by the editors of SeaFood Business magazine. And it’s free!

Search by finfish or shellfish, or by geographic region. For each type of seafood species, there is a comprehensive overview of the item, its origin, history, availability, product attributes, nutritional value and cooking tips, along with an original hand-drawn depiction.

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Once considered “trap trash” (unwanted bycatch in the lobster fishery), the peekytoe crab has become coveted table treasure, thanks to a Maine seafood entrepreneur’s clever marketing campaign and the species’ delicate, sweet flavor. Known in Down East Maine dialect as “picket toe” or… Read More
Don’t confuse this large, warmwater gastropod with the East Coast whelk, also colloquially called conch. From the family Strombidae, the queen conch (pronounced “conk”) is found primarily in the Caribbean, where it uses a muscular foot to drag itself along the ocean floor. Once abundant,… Read More
A variety of shrimp similar to Pacific or Gulf whites, Chinese whites are harvested from farm ponds and wild-caught by trawlers, mainly in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea and along the Korean coast. Chinese whites can grow to more than 7 inches. The most commonly used name for these shrimp is… Read More
Softshell is actually a misnomer for this clam, whose oval-shaped shell is actually thin and very brittle. Softshell clams average 1 1/2 to 3 inches in length. Their shell cannot close completely because of a protruding siphon. For this reason, softshell clams have a shorter shelf life than their… Read More
Striped like its jungle namesake, the black tiger shrimp is available year-round and is one of Asia’s major aquaculture products. Most tiger shrimp is farmed, though a significant amount is harvested from the wild by trawlers working mud bottoms from very shallow water to depths beyond 300 feet.… Read More
Florida’s regulatory agencies recognize three species as true stone crabs: the Florida variety (Menippe mercenaria), the Gulf crab (M. adina) and a hybrid resulting from interbreeding of the two primary species. Stone crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from Texas to the Carolinas,… Read More
A10-armed mollusk related to octopus and squid, the cuttlefish sports a flat, oblong body and narrow fins. The body is larger and fatter than a squid, making it meatier, and the ink sac is larger than that of the squid or octopus, with darker ink. One pair of arms, which retracts into pouches, is… Read More
A small cousin of sea scallops, bay scallops average 70 to 100 meats per pound. They are dredged, raked or tonged from bays, harbors and salt ponds along the East Coast from Atlantic Canada to North Carolina and processed ashore. They are also farmed in Nova Scotia and New England in suspended… Read More
Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans that resemble miniature lobsters, ranging in size from 3 1/2 to 7 inches. Over 400 species are found worldwide, 250 of which are in North America, living in rivers, lakes, swamps, canals, wetlands and irrigation ditches. The most important farmed U.S. species is… Read More
American lobsters have two powerful claws — a crusher and a ripper — which should be kept banded to prevent injury to other lobsters or the cook. The meatiest part of the animal is the tail, though claws, knuckles, body and small walking legs offer meat, too. American lobsters are found in the… Read More