[Sca-cooks] scallops

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Apr 20 16:34:37 PDT 2009

The Bay scallop (Agropecten irridians) is indigenous to the East Coast and 
the Gulf of Mexico.  What is harvested in the northern West Coast waters as 
"bay scallops" (note the lowercase "b") are supposedly Chalmys rubida (Pink 
scallops) and Chalmys hastata (Spiny scallops).  The Chinese fisheries are 
using Bay scallops imported in the 1980's (1982, I'm told) while the East 
Coast shellfish industry was suffering from problems with poisonous algae. 
The Chinese fisheries appear to be operated as farms.  I haven't located any 
reference to farming Bay scallops in the Pacific Northwest, but it might 

Apparently, there has been a degradation of the language such that the term 
"bay scallop" is being used to denote "small scallop" rather than one of the 
three subspecies of Agropecten irridians.  The (mis)usage is pervasive 
enough that I am told it is being used at the Fulton Fishmarket.


> According to one website, Alaska has three kinds of scallops in their 
> waters, the Bay Scallop, the Rock Scallop and the Weathervane Scallop.
> I found another website that states that China has introduced the Bay 
> Scallop into their waters.  I couldn't tell if these were farmed scallops 
> or those allowed to live free.  I have found several sites that state most 
> of the Bay scallops sold in markets are farmed.
> The Rock scallop is a West Coast scallop.  It is protected here in 
> California, but not in other states.  I have had Rock scallops and they 
> are deliscious.  But I can only get them now in Oregon and Washington.
> The Weathervane are very similar to Atlantic Sea Scallops, but are not 
> quite as large.
> Adamantius, according to what I found, dried scallops come from China and 
> are call 'conpoy'.
> Huette
> --- On Sun, 4/19/09, Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net> wrote:
>> From: Terry Decker <t.d.decker at att.net>
>> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] scallops
>> To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
>> Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 6:54 AM
>> > The only ones I remember seeing were frozen or fresh in
>> plastic  wrapped trays. Usually I see larger ones, inch and
>> a half in  diameter? which are sea scallops and smaller,
>> cheaper ones about an  inch in diameter called "bay
>> scallops".
>> >
>> > Stefan
>> It the "bay scallops" you saw were cheaper than
>> the large scallops, then they were probably fakes punched
>> out of the larger Atlantic scallops.  A true Bay scallop,
>> Argopecten irridians, is a small scallop that grows in
>> protected waters primarily along the Altantic coast and off
>> shore islands. The species is in general decline, probably
>> due to a decline in eel grass, and the US harvest has been
>> strictly controlled for decades, thus the real Bay scallop
>> is expensive.  It also has superior texture and a sweet
>> flavor that make it worth the price.
>> Bear
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