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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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
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
This species supports the largest scallop fishery in the world. Sea scallops are dredged year-round from Labrador to New Jersey. Since sea scallops die out of water, they are always shucked at sea and kept on ice, if not frozen aboard. The meat counts range from 20 to 40 per pound. New Bedford,… 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
European oysters, first farmed by the Romans, were so prized that they were transported across the English Channel in snow-packed barrels. Today, they are farmed off New England, California and Washington state and, to a lesser degree, in France, England and Norway. On the U.S. East Coast, the… Read More
Brown, white and pink shrimp are a triad of warmwater animals known collectively as “Gulf shrimp.” Commercially important to both the United States and Mexico, Gulf shrimp are found along the southeastern U.S. coast, as far north as Maryland, and along the entire western Gulf, particularly on… 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
Spiny lobsters lack the large front claws of the American lobster and are prized instead for their tail meat, which accounts for 33 percent of the body weight. Some 30 species of spiny lobster are found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They are marketed in the United States as… Read More
Related to cuttlefish and squid, octopus are cephalopods, or “head-footed,” referring to the eight “legs” that sprout from their head. They also have a parrot-like beak for crushing prey such as abalone, crab and lobster. There are more than 140 species in temperate and tropical waters… Read More