The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.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

Is it safe to eat oysters during the months without R's?

Yes. Fresh oysters properly refrigerated are wholesome and nutritious throughout the year. They spoil rapidly at high temperatures, however. The belief that oysters were unsafe to eat in May through August arose in earlier days when refrigeration was less prevalent than it is today.
oysters Oyster Shucking House
Oysters - Oyster Shucking House, 1934 Appalachicola, FL

How does a scallop move?

It compresses the valves of its shell and forces water backward in jets near the shellhinge. The force drives the scallop in the direction of the shell opening. The bivalve appears to be clapping the two sides of its shell together.

Sea Scallops

Are any snails commercially caught for food off the coasts of the United States?

The most commonly eaten snails in this country are the abalone, caught in the waters off California, and various conchs from Atlantic waters.

What purpose do the holes along the edge of an abalone shell serve?

Internal gills discharge water through the holes, as part of an abalone's respiratory process.

Are there any poisonous snails?

Yes. Cone shells (family Conidae) include members with toxic venom. These mostly tropical forms can be highly toxic, even fatal, to man. Their poison is injected by a spear-shaped rod called a radula.

Visit the Killer Snail Homepage

killer snail Conus Striatus
Conus Striatus
Photograph of Conus Striatus courtesy of the Drug Design and Development Centre, University of Queensland.

Bay Scallop photo by Jim Widman NMFS

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