Discover more about scallops, cold-water bivalve molluscs enjoyed as sashimi, sushi, or grilled. Find out which scallops are sustainable and where to buy sustainable scallops.
What are scallops?
Scallops are molluscs, a group of animals that also includes snails, sea slugs, octopus, squid, clams, mussels and oysters. Unlike the mussel and the oyster, the scallop cannot close and seal its shell completely and can only survive in deeper, full salinity seawater.
Scallops are used in various dishes according to the food culture of various countries worldwide. They can be enjoyed as sashimi, sushi, grilled scallops with shells, and other recipes such as soups, butter sauté, meunière, gratin, and fry.
- In Canada, scallops are Nova Scotia’s third most valuable seafood species after lobster and crab. They are found in the North Atlantic between Cape Hatteras and Labrador, from just below tide level to depths of 100m or more. Offshore commercial fisheries focus on banks found on the continental shelf where the depth is less than 100m.
- Scallops collect in dense aggregations called beds, especially on gravel bottoms. Some beds occur sporadically, while others are essentially permanent.
- The Yesso scallop is a cold-water bivalve mollusc. It is naturally distributed in coastal, sub-Arctic areas of the eastern Pacific, including the Japan Sea and the southern Sea of Okhotsk—around Sakhalin Island, Hokkaido, and northern Honshu.
Are scallops sustainable?
There is no such thing as a sustainable species of fish. Only sustainable populations of fish.
There are two Australian scallop fisheries certified to the Marine Stewardship Council’s global standard for a well-managed and sustainable fishery.
Find more MSC-certified scallop fisheries around the world.
Where can I buy sustainable scallops?
You'll find Canadian MSC-certified sustainable scallop products from the Clearwater brand with the blue fish tick with specialist fish shops, wholesalers and online such as Wholefoods House.
Find out more about where to buy sustainable seafood.
Scallop recipesDiscover these delicious scallop recipes.
Learn more about scallop fishing
MSC labelled scallops are available in Australia from the Clearwater brand. These scallops come from the Eastern Canada offshore scallop fishery.The 12 vessels in the eastern Canada offshore scallop fishery operate by towing steel scallop dredges (locally known as the New Bedford rake) along the seabed. Each vessel typically employs two dredges, each around 15-17 feet (~4.5-5.2m) wide.
The fishery has adopted a conservative harvest strategy that limits the number of scallops that can be caught, as well as the number of licensed fishers.
The industry has also invested in seabed mapping to reduce the impact of the gear on the seabed. There is good knowledge of benthic (seabed) habitats and species within the fishing area.
Explore more sustainable fish to eat
Find more sustainable seafood species that are MSC certified in Australia and New Zealand.
Explore the sustainable seafood guide.
Chefs and seafood lovers from around the world share quick and tasty ways of cooking MSC certified seafood.
Choose seafood which helps to protect oceans, livelihoods and fish for the future.