Scallops

Maori name: tupa
Scientific name: Pecten novaezealandiae
Availability: July to February
Weight:
Length: 10–15cm

Scallops

Maori name: tupa
Scientific name: Pecten novaezealandiae
Availability: July to February
Length: 10–15cm
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Location

They are found around the coast in the sandbanks and mudbanks of sheltered bays from the low tide mark out to about 50 metres depth. They lie on the seabed with the flat shell uppermost, often singly but sometimes grouped in beds.

Attributes

Fan-shaped bivalve shell with deep ridges that radiate from the hinge. Colours are variable, including brown, orange, yellow, pink, or flesh-coloured or a mix of these. The upper valve of the shell is flat, and the lower valve is concave. The flesh is white and the roe is usually bright orange. They move by suddenly closing the shell to shoot water from the hinge. This propels the shellfish in a series of jerky jumps. Scallops have two rows of eyes around the mantle, which can sense danger when the valves of the shell are open.

Family

Scallops belong to the Pectinidae family (scallops).

Spawning

Spawning occurs in the spring and early summer. They mature rapidly, often reaching the legal size of 10 centimetres within three years.

Sustainability

One of our most popular shellfish, scallop harvesting is subject to controls on the season and hours of fishing in addition to the catch limits set under the Quota Management System. Minimum sizes are set for both recreational and commercial fisheries. Commercial harvesting is only permitted in areas where biotoxin testing has been completed. Monitoring of shellfish and water quality is carried out to specifications set by the Ministry for Primary Industries and international markets. A temporary closure for commercial and recreational scallop harvesting in the Nelson and Marlborough Sounds area for the 2016-17 season was announced by the Ministry in July 2016 to enable stocks to rebuild.

Fishing methods

The main dredging areas are Tasman Bay and Golden Bay, Marlborough Sounds, Coromandel coasts, and Northland coasts. They are best harvested before they spawn.

Nutrition

Scallops are a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

and Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal neurological function and it contributes to blood formation, energy metabolism and to the growth and development in children

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Zinc

Zinc is necessary for normal immune system function, contributes to normal skin structure and the healing of wounds, the maintenance of bones, hair and nails

, Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is necessary for the metabolism of protein and the transport and metabolism of iron and it contributes to immune system function, energy metabolism, to reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and to the regulation of hormonal activity

and Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

Scallops are tender and juicy when cooked quickly on a high heat with a light, gentle touch. If overcooked, their texture can become rubbery.
They should be removed from heat as soon as the flesh changes from translucent to white.
Grilled/ seared scallops are very popular, however they can also be sautéd, baked, barbequed, fried, poached, added to a paella, pasta or risotto or marinated.

Buying & Storage Tips

Scallops should be bought plump and fresh, with firm lustrous flesh, showing no signs of discolouration or dryness. Scent is also a good indicator of freshness - scallops should smell slightly sweet and pleasantly briny but not sharp.