The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.
For current information, please see our new FAQ.

Blue eyed scallop
Blue eyed Scallop

How are scallops caught?

A large dredge scrapes scallops off the bottom and carries them aboard fishing vessels.

clam dredge Scallop Dredge scallop interior Scallop

What is the biggest clam caught and eaten in the United States?

The geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) clam caught in Northwest Pacific waters, weighs an average three pounds and yields over a pound of flavorful meat.
Photo courtesy of Washington's Outer Limits

What are oyster borers?

An oyster borer, or drill, is an aquatic snail that preys on oysters, especially thin-shelled young oysters. Using a band of scraping teeth (a radula) and a shell-dissolving secretion, the gastropod drills a hole in the oyster shell and eats the creature within.

How do oysters produce pearls?

Pearls begin with the presence of a foreign substance, such as a grain of sand, that lodges in the shell. The oyster's body reacts by depositing layers of nacreous (pearl-like) material around the foreign body to wall it off and reduce irritation. Many oysters--as well as some clams and mussels--manufacture material like the pearl- producing substance. True pearl-producing oysters, however, inhabit waters of the Indo Pacific.
joke photo of NEFSC scientists feeding giant oyster
Feeding the Woods Hole Oyster

What is Oyster Spat?

The life cycle of the oyster begins with a free-swimming larval stage that eventually attaches to a hard substrate forming an oyster spat. The spat commences a growth period that is classified into sub-adult and adult phases.
oyster spat
Creating substrate for oyster spat, Milford CT 1930's

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OK, there really isn't a Woods Hole oyster - at least not that big!
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