Sea scallops, being the largest of the kind, 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 10 to 40 per pound. A small cousin of sea scallops, bay scallops average 70 to 100
meats per pound. They are dredged, raked or tongued 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 systems. A less expensive, farmed bay scallop is imported from China.
Green & Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis, Perna canalicula)
At one time held at low esteem, the blue mussel has become an aquaculture and success story. The cultivated mussels are
harvested at a shell size of 2-3 inches. Its green counterpart is native to New Zealand. It is farmed mussels, cultivated
on ropes, rafts or longlines.
The largest of the commercially harvested crabs, king crabs are characterized by spiny shells and long, spidery legs. King crabs
have six walking legs, one large “killer” claw and one small “feeder” claw. Kings are found in shallow waters off the shores of Southeast
Alaska and in the Bering Sea on flat, plain-like stretches of sea floor. King crabs often march in herds across vast expanses of
these plains. They are caught in large, wire-mesh traps that measure 7x7x10 feet.
Although there are more than 200 species of bivalve mollusks worldwide described as clams, only a half-dozen harvested on a
significant scale as seafood. Once used widely as bait, clams are now found at high-end restaurants. They vary in size within and
among species. Raw meat is gray and brown, but turns a creamy color when cooked.
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.
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. Octopus is amazingly dexterous at hunting and fleeing.
Most biologists consider them the smartest of all invertebrates.
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.
Quality of pond-raised vannamei shrimp is normally high, owing to strict controls and the lack of at-sea time that accompanies shrimp harvested from wild.
Striped like its jungle namesake, the black tiger shrimp is available year-round and is one of the 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. The species is distributed over a huge range,
from east and southeast Africa through the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, around the Indian subcontinent and through the Malay Archipelago
to northern Australia and the Philippines.
Also known as giant river prawn, freshwater shrimp is found wild from Pakistan and northwest India to Malaysia,
New Guinea, the Philippines and northern Australia and is farmed in freshwater areas throughout the world. This
fast-growing shrimp can reach a weight of 4 to 6 ounces.