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 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
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
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
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
Surf clams are often the “fried clams” featured on menus across the country. This is the most important clam species, by volume, in the United States. Surf clams average 4 1/2 to 8 inches across. They’re taken by hydraulic dredges from sand or gravel habitats in depths of 10 to 300 feet. The… Read More
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
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
Wild abalone populations on the U.S. West Coast and worldwide have been decimated by predation, disease, loss of habitat and overfishing. However, farmed supply is alleviating the harvest shortfall; worldwide, more than 15 abalone species are commercially cultivated. The most popular and common… Read More