Bay Scallops

Bay Scallop
Common Name Bay Scallops
Scientific name Argopecten irradians

Sourcing Summary


20 #/lb.

The worst time to buy scallops is after they have spawned because the adductor muscle is soft and discolored and sheds moisture easily. The best time to buy scallops is in the late summer when prices are low and the quality has improved following the spring spawn. Scallop meats are sold by count per pound, with a premium being paid for larger size meats (lower count per pound). The trick to sea scallops is to not pay $10/lb. for water. Dry scallops will feel sticky whereas a soaked scallop will feel soapy or slick. Although very small quantities of U.S. scallops are harvested inshore by divers, the term “diver” scallops refers to a dry scallop that has not been treated by sodium tripolyphosphate. The phosphates allow the scallop to hold more water, sometimes 20% more. Most scallops are treated using phosphates and even dry scallops are often washed in tripolyphosphate.

Product Forms

Product Forms
Product Forms

Fresh Seasonal Availability


Culinary Composition





Cooking Methods

Advisory Concern

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning


Nutrition facts

Serving Size: 100g
Amount per serving
Calories 88
Total Fat 1g
Cholesterol 33mg
Sodium 161mg
Carbohydrates 0g
Protein 17g
Omega-3 0.2g

Conservation Criteria - Wild

Conservation Criteria - Farmed


The U.S. and Canada have strict rules for aquaculture, but China has been struggling with water quality and pollution problems in its coastal environment, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Shellfish farmers there have little control over industrial and agricultural pollution, so it’s unusual for there to be management processes in place to deal with the problem. There is little information available about best management practices for sea scallop farming operations in Asia, according to the aquarium.

Habitat Impacts

Bay scallops are farmed primarily using lantern-shaped nets suspended from long lines underwater either on the seafloor or in a water column. Most bay scallops come from Chinese farmers, although there are some farmers in New England. Bay scallops filter the water so farmers don’t use treatment on them and farming of this species doesn’t create waste.

The majority of farmed scallops are raised “off-bottom,” a method where they are harvested by hand, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Some scallops are raised “on-bottom” in culture plots, meaning they are removed using a heavy net dredge that can harm ecosystems and negatively impact marine life, causing diversity to decline, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Since scallops are filterfeeders that actually remove plankton from the water, no additional feed is used in bay scallop farming operations.

Escapes and Introduced Species

Although there is little information available about the environmental impacts of Chinese bay scallop operations, the scallop seems unable to survive on their own in China’s cold water and no wild populations have been reported there to date. Operations in Japan and the U.S. don’t represent a risk to other marine life.

Name Country State / Province
AIS Aqua Foods, Inc. United States New Mexico
American Scallop Company United States Virginia
Aqua Star United States Washington
City Fish Canada Alberta
Codfathers Seafood Market Canada British Columbia
Conchyliculture Gloucester Shellfish Co. Inc. Canada New Brunswick
Frobisher International Enterprise Ltd. Canada British Columbia
Intercity Packers Meat & Seafood Canada British Columbia
John Nagle Co. United States Massachusetts
Kingsun Foods Co., Ltd China Liaoning Sheng
L&L International Inc. United States California
Lotus Seafood Inc. United States California
Lusamerica Foods, Inc. United States California
Mariner Neptune Canada Manitoba
Northern Wind, Inc. United States Massachusetts
OM Seafood Company United States Oregon
Pacific Harvest Seafoods United States California
Profish Ltd. United States District of Columbia
Red's Best United States Massachusetts
Royal Hawaiian Seafood United States California
Sammy's Seafood Inc United States Florida
Santa Monica Seafood, Inc. United States California
Sea to Table, USA United States New York
Seacore Seafood Inc. Canada Ontario
SHS, LLC. United States Colorado
Star Fisheries Inc. United States California
The Fish Guys Inc. United States Minnesota
The Hadley Company United States Massachusetts
Thimble Island Ocean Farm United States Connecticut
ZF America United States Washington