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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The green mussel is native to New Zealand, which has exported it to the United States since 1979. Greenshells are farmed mussels, cultivated on ropes, rafts or longlines. Growing standards, including water quality and production levels, are tightly regulated by the New Zealand government, so… Read More
More than 200 species of freshwater prawns, all members of the family Palaemonidae, are important to the commercial market. The most important belong to the genus Macrobrachium, and the freshwater shrimp most common to Western markets is the giant M. rosenbergii, also known as giant river prawn. It… Read More
Not long ago, Jonah crabs were considered little more than a nuisance by lobstermen off New England and the Canadian Maritimes, who routinely tossed the crustaceans back when they came up in lobster traps. But in the 1990s, as demand for an alternative to established and costly crab species grew,… Read More
The geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) is the largest burrowing clam in the world and one of the longest-lived animals, sometimes living more than 100 years. Its name reportedly comes from the Nisqually Indian term “gwe-duk,” which means “dig deep.” The Chinese call it “elephant trunk… Read More
The rock shrimp is a deepwater cousin of the pink, brown and white Gulf shrimp species (Penaeus spp.), but its popularity in the domestic market was slower to develop. The crustacean gets its name from its rock-hard shell, which presented a challenge for processors until a machine was developed to… Read More
Unlike the native Eastern oyster, the Pacific oyster is a Japanese transplant, brought to this country after the turn of the century to revitalize the West Coast oyster industry after its native Olympia species (Ostrea lurida) crashed. Hearty and easy to propagate, the Pacific oyster is now the… Read More
Spanner crab is a newcomer to the U.S. market, exported from northeastern Australia for the white-tablecloth-dining market. Because of its limited and recent distribution in this country, the crab does not yet appear on the USDA Fish List. Though Australian supplies dominate the domestic market,… Read More
There are about 500 species of sea urchins worldwide, but the major commercially valuable species in the United States are the red, green and purple sea urchins. The spherical echinoderms have a hard, spiny shell called a “test,” which contains a star-shaped mass comprising five skeins of… Read More
Surimi seafood is simulated shellfish made from cooked, mildflavored, lean, white-fleshed fish — most often pollock and hake/whiting. The fish is deboned, minced, rinsed and rendered into an odorless, white paste called surimi to which starches, red coloring, flavorings, binders and stabilizers… Read More
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