Fact Sheet: Sea Scallop


Sea Scallop: Placopecten magellanicus

Scientific Name

Placopecten magellanicus

Market Forms

Fresh in gallons; frozen in 5 and 10 pound blocks; individually frozen in 1 and 5 pound boxes or bags. Scallops with roe, viewed as a delicacy in America and Europe, are available.A new product known as formed scallops is also available from some scallop processors.


The sea scallop shell can grow as large as eight inches in diameter.The edible white muscle, or eye, can reach two inches in diameter. Scallops are designated according to count per pound: 10-20 per pound; 20-30 per pound; 30-40 per pound.


Scallops are tender with a sweet, nut-like flavor.The roe is pink with a firm texture when cooked.


Available year round.

Nutritional Value

75 Calories (100 grams, 3.5 oz.) 16.8% Protein .8% Fat .20% Omega-3


The scallop can be used in some recipes to replace crabmeat or lobster. The roe is unique with its small pink, crescent shape and delicate flavor.


While fish are often named after objects they resemble, in the case of the scallop it is the shellfish which has lent its name to other items.A scalloped hemline, for instance, resembles the fluting of the shell. Scalloped potatoes were named for their large shells once used as baking and serving containers for that dish. It is also the only bivalve to have a patron saint.The apostle St. James wore the shell as his personal emblem, which later became a badge for pilgrims who visited his shrine in the Middle Ages. Hence, coquille Saint-Jacques.


Scallops are harvested by dredging in deep offshore waters. For maximum freshness, all processing is done at sea where they are cut, washed, bagged and stored on ice or frozen at sea.


Virginia’s waters and products are regulated by federal and state agencies including the FDA, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, insuring that only safe wholesome seafood reaches our customers.