Seafood Handbook

The Seafood Handbook is the most comprehensive seafood directory available online. Featuring more than 100 of the most common types of fish and other seafood 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. 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. 

Search our Seafood Handbook:

EXPLORE FINFISH     EXPLORE SHELLFISH

Bluefish are voracious feeders and fierce fighters, earning them the name “chopper” among fishermen. Blues can weigh up to 30 pounds; fish bigger than 10 pounds are called “horses,” while youngsters of 1 to 2 pounds are known as “snappers.” Average market size is 3 to 5 pounds. Bluefish… Read More
This high-valued species is the favored sea bream, prized in Mediterranean cuisine and highly regarded by European chefs. It gets the “gilt-head” name from the golden stripe between its eyes. The Romans reportedly called the bream “Aurata,” the gilded one. The Greek goddess Aphrodite also… Read More
Sustainability is certainly not an issue with the common carp, which is farmed and fished in freshwater worldwide. Native to Asia, the species eventually made its way into Europe and was introduced in the 1800s to the United States, where it’s now considered an invasive species. Processing… Read More
Farming catfish is truly a U.S. seafood industry success story. It started in Arkansas in the 1960s and expanded into an economic powerhouse as Southern soybean and rice farmers built ponds and processing facilities. Most catfish farms today are located in the Mississippi Delta, with additional… Read More
The geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) is the largest burrowing clam in the world and one of the longest-lived animals, sometimes living more than 100 years. Its name reportedly comes from the Nisqually Indian term “gwe-duk,” which means “dig deep.” The Chinese call it “elephant trunk… 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
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
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
Cobia is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market, with limited distribution from a handful of aquaculture operations. However, proponents of cobia farming believe it could be the next tilapia, though with more character and upscale appeal. The species is a proven candidate for aquaculture, as it… 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