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Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen
Images Courtesy of Seafood Business Magazine

   Latin: Argopecten irradians

French: Pecten

German: Kamm-Muschel

Spanish: Vieira

Japanese: Itayagai


Of the more than 400 species of scallops around the world, there are only a dozen commercially important species. Bay scallops are considered the "best" of the scallops available in the United States. Unlike other bivalves, only the muscle of the scallop is availble commercially in the United States. Bay scallops are about 10 cm (4 in) in width.


Commercial Aspects

  Exporting Countries
Japan, United States
Mexico, United States, Canada, Central America, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, China

Primary Consumers
Japan, United States, Spain, France


Production Trends

Diet/Health Info

Scallops are highly cyclical, General production has decreased significantly in recent years, probably as a result of disease and pollution. Several scallop enhancement projects are underway and might succeed in rejuvenating the bay scallop supplies. As filter feeders, scallops can collect harmful toxins, bacteria, and pollutants within their tissues. Scallops produced in Europe undergo a depuration process to rid them of these toxins. Scallops in the United States do not undergo these processes, but rather the water they grow in is monitored. Buyers should be aware of the region and water quality the scallops they purchase originated from. Cooking the scallop kills any dangerous bacteria that may reside within the scallop. Also since only the meat of scallops is generally eaten in the United States, not the digestive tract where toxins accumulate, the danger is significantly lessened.

 The Global Supply


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