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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Blue tinges on dark shells and blue patches on the legs give the crab its name. Males have blue claws; females’ claws are orange-tipped. Blue crabs average 4 to 6 inches across. In the domestic fishery, male crabs (“Jimmies”) and immature females (“Sallies”) may be taken as hardshells… Read More
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
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
Found in most northern waters, pink shrimp rank among the most important commercial shrimp species in the world. In the North Atlantic, they range from Greenland south to Martha’s Vineyard in the west, and from Iceland and Greenland south to Britain in the east. In the northeastern Pacific, they… Read More
Unlike most of the world, where the Pacific oyster has taken over the oyster grounds, America still has its native oyster, the same one that fed the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Today, two-thirds of the national oyster harvest is Eastern oysters. While Pacific oysters are mostly cultivated, Eastern… 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
Squid are cephalopods, a word meaning “head foot.” They are a close relative of the octopus and a distant relative of bivalve mollusks. More than 300 species inhabit the world’s oceans, but fewer than a dozen comprise 90 percent of the global catch; of them, three comprise the domestic suppy.… Read More
There are several species of langostino, but the one most commonly marketed is Pleuroncodes monodon, a small, lobster-like crustacean found in the cold, deep waters off the coast of Chile, where it is known as langostino colorado. A related  langostino, P. planipes, also called tuna crab, ranges… 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
These clams are rarely sold by the name “hardshell” or “quahog,” but instead are sold by names reflecting size (1 1/2 to 5 inches), from  littlenecks to cherrystones, topnecks and chowders. On the West Coast, Manila clams and Washington steamer clams are sometimes called littlenecks,… Read More