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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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
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
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
Although there are more than 200 species of bivalve mollusks worldwide described as cockles, only a half dozen are harvested on a significant scale as seafood. Once used widely as bait, cockles are now found at high-end restaurants. Because the cockle has only recently shifted from bait to plate… 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
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
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
The North American snow crab fishery targets three species: Chionoecetes opilio, C. bairdi and C. tanneri. Technically, opilios are snow crabs, and bairdis are tanners. Alaska’s opilio fishery occurs in the Bering Sea and is much larger than its bairdi fishery. Bairdi are taken in the Bering Sea… 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
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