Maori Name: Tupa
Latin Name: Pecten novaezealandiae
Scallops belong to the Pectinidae family (scallops).
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.
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.
The main dredging areas are Tasman Bay and Golden Bay, Marlborough Sounds, Coromandel coasts, and Northland coasts. They are best harvested before they spawn.
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.
Scallops use a form of jet propulsion to swim. They snap their shells shut to make water shoot out at the hinge, moving the shellfish in jerky jumps across the seabed.
Scallops are a good source of Iodine, Selenium and Vitamin B12; and a source of Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Niacin (vitamin B3).
Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3.