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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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
The largest of the commercially harvested crabs, king crabs are characterized by spiny shells and long, spidery legs. Most crabs have 10 appendages, but king crabs have six walking legs, one large “killer” claw and one small “feeder” claw. The best meat is the merus, which comes from the… 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
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
At one time held in low esteem, the blue mussel has become an aquaculture and culinary success story. While they grow wild, mussels are also farmed in Europe and on both coasts of North America. Maine is the largest U.S. producer, but the domestic market also draws farmed mussels from Canada’s… Read More
The Dungeness crab reportedly takes its name from a small fishing village on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington state. It’s also known as “San Francisco Crab,” since the species has been harvested off that city since 1848. Dungeness are commonly sold live, fresh or frozen as whole… 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
Pacific white shrimp are among the most widely cultivated shrimp in the world. This is due mainly to ease of cultivation and rapid growth rate; harvesting begins after 120 days. The two warmwater species known as Pacific whites are Penaeus vanna­mei, found from Sonora, Mexico, to northern Peru,… Read More
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
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